Faulkner writes: 'Miss Emily's house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay" (Faulkner). The word 'decay' reflects the story conflict and life of Miss Emily. It shapes the atmosphere of the short story and reflects changes in appearance of Miss Emily. Its description is put at the very beginning of the story, so it is possible to say that Faulkner wants to underline the significance of 'house' for entire work and plot development attracting attention of readers. It is not fact that a 'house' reflects inner self of its owner, so Faulkner foreshadows strange behavior and actions of the main character writing: "an eyesore among eyesores" (Faulkner). Further readers know that life of Miss Emily is gloomy and depressing. The nerrator depicts Miss Emily "During the next few years it grew grayer and grayer until it attained an even pepper-and-salt iron-gray"(Faulkner). This description enlarges and expends the idea of 'decay' and 'eyesore'.
Both quotes symbolize the plot structure based on a circle order. Like old people who confuse time, Faulkner describes events of Miss Emily's youth, her maturity and old years and than, again, describes her youth. For Miss Emily, her past is "a huge meadow which no winter ever quite touches" (Faulkner). After her father's death, Miss Emily lives in an aging house full of loosing hopes and despair.