Miss Emily did not talk much, but you can say a lot about her from her
actions and her lifestyle. She was fairly old-fashioned, possessed a stubborn outlook
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towards life, and she refused to change. You can say that Miss Emily’s stubborn attitude
definitely came from her father’s strict teachings. Her father had a strict mentality and
was the only man in her life. At least that is what I had noticed during the time I had
served her. Around her adult-teenage years, Emily’s father wouldn’t allow any men near
her, leaving Miss Emily alone for almost the rest of her life. My story takes place between
the late 1800’s and early 1900’s in small town called Jefferson, Mississippi.
Miss Emily had been through a lot. She was raised during a period before the Civil War and after the North had taken control of the South. The South was in its reconstruction era after the war and the Southern did not like the Northern people at all. The North changed much of the South with new mayors coming in and taxes now had to be paid by Southerners. Jefferson was just one of the many Southern towns, which was reformed by Northern reconstruction. With all the changes happening, Miss Emily refused to allow modern changes to come into her life.
Sometimes, I could see the fear in Miss Emily’s eyes that she had from her father. I thought even after her father had passed away, she would change, but she still had feared him. Her father was like a virus in her mind that she could not get rid of. She had some kind of horrible memory of her father that even after his death, she still feared him. She kept his body with her in the house because of the fear she had of him. I would ask her why she doesn’t lay him to rest and what she would say is “He is not dead.” Finally. He was laid to rest when Miss Emily broke down.
Miss Emily’s father never let her alone and when he died and then came Homer Barron who was a treat that she was never allowed to have. Jefferson had just got a contract for paving the sidewalks and the foreman of the construction company was Homer Barron. Homer was a Northerner, a day labourer, Miss Emily a Southerner and people did not like this. Suddenly, Miss Emily and Homer were seen often together and she even got a toilet set made for Homer by a jeweller and the town had already known about this. When I would go out to the market, I would hear people talking about Emily and Homer being “married.” There was just a lot of gossip about them around town.
Her death was a surprise to everyone in town, but me. No one had heard that she was going to die or had known how she had died. She told me why she didn’t wasn’t to live anymore. She said that she was tired of people telling her to accept the fact that times were changing and society was growing. She was tired of this and isolated herself from civilization, using me to run her household tasks. I guess I was the only one left to trust since I had served her almost her whole life. Before she died, she had passed on a hidden watch to me, which she had at the end of her chain that symbolizes how time has been hidden from her all of these years. It was no doubt that Jefferson had lost a monument of the Old South.
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