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Literary Style of Thomas Page vs. f John Crowe Ransom

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With the dawn of the new south immediately following the civil war, southern literature metamorphosed to reflect a sense of nostalgia for what had been and no longer was. The literary canon of the time contained thematic expressions of yearning over the “Lost South” and the tradition and stability most writers felt the old South had once embodied. However, different writers utilized contrasting literary styles to convey this message. For instance, Thomas Nelson Page utilizes a sentimentalist, romanticist style of writing, while John Crowe Ransom achieves aesthetic distance in his modernistic approach to writing. Both Page and Ransom were proponents of the antebellum southern way of life. They contrasted what had previously existed in the Old South through the depiction of grand estates and chivalric deeds against what now existed in a dilapidated, dehumanizing fashion, the New South. However, while they both had a similar message, their strategies of addressing the issues were expressed in vastly different voices, diction, and figures of thought.

It is important to note, that while this paper will take a look at the dissimilar literary modes of construction utilized by both Page and Ransom, the texts for comparisons used in this essay are short-story (Page), versus poems (Ransom). Obviously, there will be few minor contextual limitations in comparing literary styles between two separate genres. However, the different writing styles will be evident via a comparison of the conative and emotive functions within the texts themselves.

First, we will begin our literary critique with Thomas Nelson Page. Page, a highly popularized souther...

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...eme by Ransom. I believe this contrast is clearly seen through the contextual creation and voices used by each respective writer and assists in giving a fuller and richer explanation of the annals of history; particularly that of the Old South.

Works Cited

Andrews, William L. "Thomas Nelson Page 1853 - 1922." The Literature of the American South: a Norton Anthology. New

York: W.W. Norton, 1998. 309. Print.

Andrews, William L. "Marse Chan: A Tale of Old Virginia." The Literature of the American South: a Norton Anthology. New

York: W.W. Norton, 1998. 314-324. Print.

Andrews, William L. "John Crowe Ransom 1888-1974." The Literature of the American South: a Norton Anthology. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998. 397. Print.

Andrews, William L. "Old Mansion." The Literature of the American South: a Norton Anthology. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998. 400-401. Print.
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