Southern Gothic Literary Analysis

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In “Making a Spectacle: Welty, Faulkner and Southern gothic,” Susan Donaldson explores Southern Gothic literature. In this article, Donaldson discusses the grotesque themes found in Southern Gothic literature. She incorporates different descriptions of Southern Gothic from various authors to give an accurate definition of Southern Gothic literature. Donaldson also explores the relationship between Southern Gothic and the portrayal of female characters. In the Old South, women were usually pitied, submissive, and considered “pure.” However, as the New South emerged, women became more independent and strong willed. Many authors combined these competing themes with the grotesque to portray women in Southern Gothic literature. Donaldson includes …show more content…
Grotesque themes are characterized as ludicrous, repulsive, and bizarre. In this article, Donaldson describes the grotesque themes found in short stories written by William Faulkner and Eudora Welty. Both authors use themes of death and decay. In “A Rose for Emily”, by William Faulkner, Emily Grierson lives in an unkempt and decaying house. Emily lives a life of solitude and eventually dies in her home. While attending Emily’s funeral, the townspeople find the skeleton of Homer Barron, her husband, locked in a room. In “A Curtain of Green”, by Eudora Welty, Ms. Larkin tries to cope with her husband’s death. Ms. Larkin eventually finds solace in gardening. Even though both authors specialize in Southern Gothic Literature. Faulkner and Welty present their female characters in different ways. Faulkner usually portray his female characters as dominated and trapped by a male figure or by society. While Welty’s female characters are more independent and …show more content…
Southern Gothic also include themes related to the unresolved tension between the Old and New South, the increase of urbanization and industrialization, the social dynamic of women, supernatural events, racism, and the peculiarities found in the Southern culture (Tunc). In the article, “Caroline Gordon’s Ghosts: The Women on the Porch as Southern Gothic Literature”, by Tanfer Emin Tunc, the author discusses different Southern Gothic themes found in the novel “The Women on the Porch”, including the grotesque. “The Women on the Porch”, by Caroline Gordon, is about the journey of a women named Catherine Chapman. Catherine has decided to leave the city and her husband to return to her ancestral home. Tunc detects the tension between the Old and the New South. If Catherine had stayed with her husband, she would have portrayed the more modern, independent, and resourceful women (Tunc). However, she decided to return to the “idyllic” lifestyle of the Old South. When Catherine arrives at her ancestral home, she notices how unkempt and dark the house is. In the article Tunc states “The estate is surrounded by dark trees and forests, and its entrance is unkempt and covered in overgrown foliage.” Only three of Catherine’s relatives live at the plantation. Her grandmother, Old Catherine, her Cousin Daphne, and her Aunt Willy. Tunc uses these women

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