The Grierson family was once considered a part of Southern aristocracy, and Emily has been brought up that way by her father, who thought that none of her suitors were good enough for her. He certainly would never have allowed a Yankee such as Homer Barron to marry his daughter. But Emily's father is dead, and Emily's marital prospects have long since vanished; so, Homer, being a new man in town, becomes the target of Emily's attentions. The fact that he is a Yankee and a modern-day carpetbagger means little to Emily at this stage in her life. Worse yet, Homer is a common day laborer--far removed from the wealthy aristocratic Southern gentleman that her father would have preferred. The pairing of Homer and Emily is much like a member of British royalty deciding to marry a commoner: It attracts attention because most royals have been brought up to marry other members of royalty. The townspeople of Jefferson thought Emily's romance was scandalous, at least in part because of Homer's own common, Northern roots.