In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," Faulkner's details about setting and atmosphere help the reader understand the actions and reactions of Miss Emily. Throughout the story, Faulkner gives hints that eventually lead up to the shocking revelation of Emily's character. At first glance, Emily seems like a lonely woman with little self-confidence and low self-esteem. Faulkner portrays her and her family with high statuses and while she did carry herself with dignity, people in the community only gave her respect based on fear of what she could do to them. It wasn't until after her death when her true character was revealed when the skeleton of her lover, Homer Barron, is discovered in a room in her house. Not only did Emily poison him, but a gray hair is found next to the skeleton, indicating that she had been sleeping with a corpse for years. It all just goes to show that some people are not what they seem. .
Above all, Emily's love life was controlled by her father, a man of high class stature who was looked up to by the community. He chose the men he wanted Emily to go out with and chased off those he did not like. He had probably intimidated her into thinking that every man she met was no good for her. When he died, it sounded to readers like freedom for Emily. After all, she could finally be free to date whomever she wanted to without her father to chase them off. However, from years of his past actions, she really didn't know how to be in a relationship with somebody and unfortunately became barricaded in her home. .
Even though Emily didn't go out much, let alone socialize, she did have a gentleman friend, Homer Barron, whom she soon developed feelings for. Like any woman, she dreamt of getting married, starting a family, but most of all, being loved; she was sure Homer was the one who would fulfill all of her dreams and rescue her from being alone. Unfortunately, Homer had different feelings about their relationship and didn't feel the same way about her as she did about him.