Emily Grierson wanted freedom in the same way any young woman would want to leave her parents' home and live an independent life of her own. Because of the time period in which she came of age, having a life of her own for Emily meant marriage and family, establishing a home of her own. However, for his own reasons, her father thwarted her at every turn. He drove away any young man who came to call, effectively keeping Emily at home with him.
After his death, Emily obviously still longed for a loving relationship with a man of her own, perhaps still seeking to marry and have a life other than the daughter of the Griersons, continuing to live in the family home. Her need was strong enough that she took up with Homer Barron, a Northerner and construction worker, who was considered by those of Jefferson, as well as Emily's few living relations, to be a shockingly unsuitable match for her. Emily's last bid for personal freedom fails, and her relationship with Homer ends in a very macabre manner indeed.