But this is also a story about the gender roles during the Southern mid 1900s. Emily Grierson was caught between who society wanted her to be and whom she really is inside.
Throughout Emily's childhood she was put under extreme pressure to live up to her family name. The whole town put her up on a pedestal and scrutinized her every move. Right at the beginning of the story, the townspeople are shown with quite an interest in Emily's life. The first paragraph already establishes her status in the town.
When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one... had seen in at least ten years (Charters 469).