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Miss Emily is stuck in the past. There is the gap between the generation of Colonel Sartoris and that which has "more modern ideas" is bridged by Miss Emily's life. She remains in the past, however, a relic of a time forgotten. Her house, too, seems stuck in the past; when the aldermen call upon her to demand her taxes, they wait in the parlor "furnished in heavy, leather-covered furniture," where "a faint dust rose sluggishly about their thighs, spinning with slow motes in the single sun-ray." The antagonist is Emily's past and her inability to reconcile with it. She cannot move on from her past to forge a new life.