Who comes to live with Emily in "A Rose for Emily"?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Part IV of "A Rose for Emily" we learn that, upon finding out from the minister and his wife about Emily's scandalous relationship with Homer Barron, Emily's closest relations in Alabama, her two female cousins, immediately mobilized to Mississippi to live with Emily and to bring sense into Emily so that she understands that the relationship with Homer sets a bad example and should be over with. 

A lot happens during this time. Emily goes to the jeweler's to get a man's toilet set in silver, which she engraves with Homer's initials. Emily is also seen at the chemist shop asking for arsenic, which she says falsely that she needs for rats. We also know that Homer has not yet quite left town at the time the cousins come there to live, but he leaves shortly afterward. Hence, there are a lot of dynamics taking place in Emily's life, and she is also undergoing a lot of conflicts.

She had barely shocked the minister out of her house for telling him who knows what. The minister had to get his wife to intervene. The latter calls the cousins. The cousins set up house for a while at Emily's, and she continues to do her things, even with the cousins living there. The townsfolk narrator admits that the neighbors were curious as to what was going on in there. 

So she had blood-kin under her roof again and we sat back to watch developments. [...] "They are married." We were really glad. We were glad because the two female cousins were even more Grierson than Miss Emily had ever been.

Therefore, it is the two cousins from Alabama, Emily's closest relations (perhaps the only ones left) who come to live with her and who then try to set everything back in order, without success.