Emily is a member of the Southern aristocracy. After the Civil War, the family continues to live as before, ignoring the hardship and the fact that the house is falling apart. Emily has a certain way of behaving and turns down proposals because of the suitors' low status. At least, that's what the neighbors' think.
When Emily's father dies, she refuses to realize it. Then, to the neighbors disbelief, she meets Homer Barron, a simple man from the north - the opposite of her highborn status. A while later, Barron disappears.
There's a dense darkness of despair consuming the story. Faulkner's prose is rich, but he doesn't serve everything without demanding something from the reader. Instead, he leaves interesting gaps for the reader to fill in. Hence, the endless possibilities of interpretations and associations, two of which might be basic themes as loneliness and the reluctance to change.