Elements of Southern Gothic Literature

Better Essays
Elements of Southern Gothic Literature

Literature comes in all types of styles and one type is Southern Gothic. But what makes a story develop into this type of Southern Gothic style? There are many characteristics that are apparent in literature, so what conditions are distinct that would give them the term Southern Gothic literature? What kind of elements do we call for when trying to find this type of literature?

Southern Gothic is a literature that has a style all its own. It has it unique elements such as being Southern based (characters or place), then we have characters with these righteous attitudes, and then it would not be Gothic without a tragedy. Now in Wikipedia we have Southern Gothic literature being defined as “relying on supernatural, ironic or unusual events to guide the plot.” It also state that “one feature of Southern Gothic is “the grotesque” -this includes characters with a cringe-inducing quality.” The word grotesque comes up many times when defining this style of writing as Di Renzo describe it “…freaks and cripples who wear their physical and mental deformities like badges” (4). The setting in this style of writing is an eerie, or unusual place, or circumstance. So these are the things that help define Southern Gothic literature.

These are the kind of things we will look for in three of the stories we are going to review to see if we can find the stuff that make them Southern Gothic. But first we have to to take a look at two of the authors of these stories to see if we could get a better understanding of their writings. And in addition get some background into their style of writing.

Two authors that are very well known for this type of Southern Gothic literature are William Fa...

... middle of paper ...

...this is after she figures out whom he is. The Misfit has all of the Grandmother’s family escorted into the woods and killed. And as the story ends he takes the Grandmothers life when she touches him on the shoulder.

Now we have examined three stories written by two well distinguished authors known for their Southern Gothic Literature and found many similarities in each story. Each story has its form of the grotesque we have Miss Emily, the Misfit, the Grandmother, and Marley Pointer and let’s not leave out Helga. The characters of each story has some form of cringe inducing quality, meaning some kind of attitude about themselves that gets under ones skin. Then as we can see from the stories they all are Southern based each story is in a Southern setting. And the final thing we look for in Southern Gothic literature is tragedy which all three stories possessed.