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The narrator of the story presents to us a story about Emily and her life history in Jefferson town. We are told of the relations Emily had with her father, the town and her lover and as the story draws its curtains, we get to know of the disturbing truth that Emily had hidden for a very long time. The theme of decay seems to be emphasized in the story.

            With time, Emily became old, so was the town that she was living in, her once nicest street was dilapidated and regarded as one of the worst and ugly looking streets in the town. It is not perturbing that this street had aged and withered with Miss Emily. In addition to this, her family’s respect seems to diminish with time. Her family was once regarded as one of the nicest families in Jefferson town, however, the views tend to shift course as Emily grows older.

            The town’s perception towards her family and her changed. She is considered as a monument in her old age, her father’s respect and all that he had gathered while alive died with him and the other old folks in Jefferson’s town. Emily’s house was in the past the best and nicest house in the town. However, what is indicated is that the house is seen to age with Miss Emily. It reaches a point where by the house is considered an eyesore in the entire town. It has pint that is faded and its yard was never looked after. Men present in the now old Jefferson town did not have the guts to tell Emily that her house was stinking, all they could do is cure and tolerate the stench. Everybody in the town had grown old losing the splendor he or she once had. 

            In addition to this, Emily was once considered the most beautiful girl in town; she was what can be referred to as a damsel, however, things have changed now, she has grown old and her attraction has faded away. In her younger age, when the Emily’s father was still alive, no man ever dared courting her. As each year passes by, Emily gets old and older, her fine looks are no longer there and she keeps on decaying. She later transforms into a fat and grey haired lady in her old age. A person who does not attract anyone and no one is willing to be associated with her.

            Apart from her physical features decaying and fading away, Faulkner asserts that Emily’s mind was not being left behind, it was decaying too. Her one love left her decaying in misery and loneliness. Though the town believes that Homer Barron, Emily’s love had left her, as the story comes to an end, it is brought to the reader’s knowledge that, he had never left her; it is Emily who had taken his life away by poisoning and leaving him to die in her bed. The decay that had occurred to Emily’s mind was worse than it could be imagined. Emily had lost his sense of judgment and she could no longer differentiate between right and wrong. To her, normal and abnormal were all the same, she had no distinction between the two. Emily’s taste of mind clearly explains the reasons as to why here house was decaying. Though moist people could see this fact, Emily could not comprehend it, to her all things looked normal. 

            Though the author may have had a number of themes in this story, it is clear that the decay theme surpasses them all. Jefferson town, Emily and her house grew old and decayed. The looks and the love Miss Emily once had were gone, the same as to her mind. The beauty the house once had was gone due to old age. Jefferson town which at a certain time was considered the most beautiful town in the south, grew old leading to a change in perception. The author writes this story and makes it very interesting by using a number of characters to explain to us how with time, everything shall become old losing the beauty and liveliness it once held.

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