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Gothic Elements in A Curtain of Green and Death of a Traveling Salesman

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Gothic Elements in A Curtain of Green and  Death of a Traveling Salesman 

 

In fiction, Gothicism is defined as a style that emphasizes the grotesque, mysterious, and desolate. Eudora Welty makes frequent use of the grotesque in her work, often pairing it with elements of mystery, as in "Keela, The Outcast Indian Maiden." However, she usually deals with desolation as a separate element, as in "Death of A Traveling Salesman," in which the focus is placed on the lonely, fruitless existence of R.J. Bowman.

One early reviewer of A Curtain of Green, in which "Keela, The Outcast Indian Maiden" appears, wrote that Welty was "preoccupied with the demented, the deformed, the queer, [and] the highly spiced" (Vande Kieft 67). Though the presence of these elements is pronounced, the reviewer has failed to look past these devices to see Welty's purpose. Welty's focus is never centered around the grotesque itself; rather she focuses on her characters' reactions to it and the contrast it creates. "She does not try mystically to transform or anonymously to interpret," she me...


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