In this story, the town is a round character, the South, is forced to change in order to survive after the Civil War.
"The narrator in ‘‘A Rose for Emily’’ notes a change in the character of his town when Jefferson’s Board of Aldermen attempts to collect Emily’s taxes."
While Emily refuses to change or recognize that the world around her is no longer populated by privilged planation owners, she becomes an obstacle to progress.
"The newer generations are further and further away from the antiquated social mores of their forebears. The men who try to collect Emily’s taxes don’t operate under the same code of conduct as their grandfathers and great-grandfathers did. Emily is not a ‘‘damsel in distress’’ to these men; she is a nuisance, a hindrance to progress."