A single woman, Emily, could not be pushed around. With tough negotiations, she figured out how to avoid paying her taxes with the consent of the authorities. Two things went awry for her; she could not keep a man and her dear father died. After her father’s death, she allowed herself and her property to become decrepit. The narrator and the other towns people talked behind Emily’s back because the stench of her house became oppressive to all who were near.
[SPOILER] The end of the tale reveals that her significant other whom the narrator reported left her did not actually die. Upon Emily’s own death people entered her house and walked up to her attic, her significant other lied dead in the attic on a bed. On the pillow next to the deadman was in silver hair which was likely Emily’s.
Faulkner’s writing skill is on full display. With the exception of the multiple irritating uses of the word nigger the story was as finely crafted as a sculpture made by the hands of Michelangelo or a number performed by Miles Davis. Faulkner uses a narrator as the storyteller who is a towns person and represents the voice of the towns people. This decision to use this point of you helps the reader to increase intrigue because the narrator has limited knowledge.
The message is most appropriate. People who struggle on the outside often have secret struggles on the inside. If we have struggles on the outside it is our duty to cultivate health on the inside. Under no circumstance is it acceptable to sleep next to a rotten corpse which stinks so badly the neighbors smell it and put in complaints to the authorities. But when a person drowning in loneliness because they have not managed their inner life, their external world will showcase will their suffering and may do abnormal things to medicate their loneliness.
Stay in tune with your inner life. One way to check in is to notice the conditions of your outer world.
Be aware of your inner world and manage it.