Southern Gothic Literature Essay

1238 words - 5 pages

Southern Gothic Literature is a subgenre of Gothic fiction writing, which takes place in the American South. The Southern Gothic style is one of that employs the topics such as death, bizarre, violent, madness, and supernatural. These tools are used “to explore social issues and reveal the cultural character of the American South (Wikipedia).” The view of the South which is self-identified as the “national” or “American” view is basically a colonial Romance, with the rest of the nation identified with the forces of the light and the South with the forces of the darkness (Wacker 107).The authors of Southern Gothic typically use damaged characters to make their stories better, and to show deeper meanings of unpleasant Southern characteristics. These characters are diverse from society due to social, physical or mental disabilities. However, not all characteristics of the characters are bad; it is that a mixture of good and bad is found in most of the characters. Two authors who express the Southern Gothic writing style are William Faulkner, who wrote “A Rose for Emily,” and Flanner O Conner, the author of “Good Country People” and “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”
A great example of this type of writing is “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O' Conner. It is a story about a family trip gone that has turned out bad, a selfish grandma causes her entire family to be stranded after the car crashes and is put into a ditch. They are relaxed to see a car stop for them to give them a ride to their destination, until they soon realize the person driving was an escaped convict named "The Misfit." The convicts partners began taking the family into the woods one by one to assonate them, the grandmother starts to beg for her life even though she is the biggest advocate for the family, even thought the family agrees on her choice of going to Tennessee instead of Florida. The grandmother starts talking about the story of the Misfit, saying "I wouldn't take my children in any direction with a criminal like that a loose in it. I couldn't answer to my conscience if I did (O’ Conner 1)."The grandmother eventually leads the family into being the victims of “The Misfit” this is where the irony occurs in the story. Another example of irony is when the grandmother begins to beg for her life. The grandmother attempts to beg for her life, telling “The Misfit” “I just know you’re a good man (O’ Conner 98), "You've got good blood! I know you wouldn't shoot a lady! I know you come from nice people! Pray Jesus, you ought not to shoot a lady (O’Connor 131)." However, “The Misfit” kills grandma anyway to show just because he was raised a good man does not mean he would kill. The use of irony that O’ Connor tries to covey is that no one can escape their destiny no matter how hard they try, that is usually used in Southern Gothic writing.
In the story “A Rose for Emily,” Faulkner, who is the main character, Emily lives her entire life in her families mansion home, alone, and...

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