The climax in William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" occurs after Emily Grierson's death when the townspeople break into her home and find the remains of Homer Barron. Though they suspected her of killing him, they didn't realize she kept his remains in her home for as long as she did.
Emily Grierson's death gives the town of Jefferson, Miss., a chance to remember her. She lived mostly as a hermit, seeing only her manservant for the last 10 years of her life. Townspeople remember her as never paying taxes, shutting down after her lover left and for scandalously showing interest in a black man named Homer Barron, who helped install sidewalks in the town 40 years earlier.
People in the town questioned how much time Emily spent with Homer. The town minister suggested she was setting a bad example, and two of her cousins visited to talk some sense into her. Not long after, Emily bought arsenic from a drugstore to allegedly kill rats, but many in the town believed she planned to kill herself after realizing that Homer was gay and not the "marrying kind." Not long after, no one saw Homer again.
When the townspeople broke into her home, they forced open a room that had been locked for 40 years. Emily had set it up like a bridal room. The townspeople find a skeleton in the bed, which they suspect is Homer's. Making matters worse is that they find a long strand of gray hair on the pillow next to the skeleton, leading them to believe that she spent time in bed with the skeleton.