In the first chapter of “A Rose for Emily,” the narrator introduces the protagonist, Emily Grierson, as a “fallen monument” in the town of Jefferson. The townspeople have a strong nostalgia for the old days when Emily’s father was alive, and she was a young girl. The narrator describes how Emily’s father kept her isolated from the rest of the town and how she was never seen without her white dress and gloves.
After her father’s death, Emily becomes a recluse, refusing to leave her house or interact with the townspeople. The townspeople try to intervene, but she stubbornly maintains her isolation. The townspeople are both curious and scared of Emily, and they whisper about her behind her back.
The narrator also introduces the town’s old Negro servant, Tobe, who is the only person allowed inside Emily’s house. The townspeople are puzzled by this and speculate about what goes on inside the house.
The chapter ends with the townspeople discussing the arrival of a new man in town, Homer Barron, and speculating about his relationship with Emily.
In chapter 2 of “A Rose for Emily,” the narrator describes the relationship between Emily and her father. It is revealed that her father was a strict and controlling man who sheltered Emily from the outside world. He forbade her from having suitors or friends and even refused to let her attend school.
As Emily grows older, her father’s death leaves her alone and isolated in the family home. She becomes a recluse, rarely leaving the house and rarely interacting with others. She is seen as a strange and eccentric figure in the town, and people begin to gossip about her.
One day, Homer Barron arrives and begins working on the town’s streets. He becomes friendly with Emily, and people speculate about their relationship. It is hinted that Homer may be interested in Emily romantically, but it is unclear if she reciprocates his feelings.
The chapter ends with the narrator describing Emily’s relationship with her house, symbolising her isolation and seclusion from the world. She is fiercely protective of the home and its contents and refuses to let anyone enter or make changes to it.
In chapter 3 of “A Rose for Emily,” the narrator provides more background information about Emily’s family and her father’s strict and controlling nature. The narrator describes how Emily’s father forbade her from socialising with the town’s young men, leading to her eventual isolation.
After her father’s death, Emily is left alone in her large house and becomes increasingly reclusive. The townspeople attempt to intervene and help her, but she refuses all offers of assistance. She continues to live in the house, with only her servant, Tobe, for company.
The townspeople continue to speculate about Emily’s life, with some believing that she is secretly engaged to a Northern man. However, this rumour is proven false when Emily is seen with a much older man, whom the townspeople suspect is her lover.
Despite her isolation, Emily remains a figure of fascination for the townspeople, who continue to watch her from a distance. The narrator concludes the chapter by stating that Emily’s “neglect” and “stoicism” are seen as a sign of her “nobility” by the townspeople.
In Chapter 4 of “A Rose for Emily,” the townspeople discuss Emily Grierson’s strange behaviour and the mysterious circumstances surrounding her father’s death. After his death, Emily refuses to acknowledge that he is gone and continues to sleep on his side of the bed and keep his clothes and furniture in the same condition as when he was alive.
The townspeople also discuss Emily’s relationship with Homer Barron, a construction foreman working on the town’s new sidewalks. Rumours circulate that the two are engaged, but Emily is seen wearing a man’s hat and carrying a cane, leading the townspeople to believe that the relationship is not as it seems.
The chapter ends with the townspeople learning that Homer has disappeared and that Emily has bought a large amount of arsenic from the town’s drugstore. They begin to speculate on what she could have done with it.
In Chapter 5 of “A Rose for Emily,” the narrator provides more information about Emily’s life and the town’s reaction to her actions. It is revealed that Emily’s father had been a strict and controlling figure who prevented her from having any romantic relationships. After he died, Emily began exhibiting eccentric behaviour, such as refusing to pay her taxes and acknowledging the town’s new council.
The townspeople began to gossip about Emily and speculate on the reason for her strange behaviour. Some believed she was insane, while others thought she was simply eccentric. However, no one seemed to have any concrete answers.
One day, the townspeople noticed a strong smell emanating from Emily’s house. They suspected that it was the result of a dead animal, but Emily refused to allow anyone to investigate. Eventually, the townspeople hired a team of men to break down the door and enter the house.
Inside, they found the body of Homer Barron, a construction worker who had been seen around town with Emily. He was lying on a bed in an upstairs bedroom, and it was clear that he had been dead for some time. Emily was found sitting in a chair next to the bed, and she seemed to be in a state of shock.
The townspeople were horrified by the discovery and quickly arranged for Homer’s body to be buried. Emily was left alone in her house, and the townspeople treated her with more respect and kindness. She was no longer seen as an eccentric but as a tragic figure who had lost her one chance at happiness.