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Southern Gothic - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Southern Gothic. The America South. Writers use details about Lonely plantations Aging Southern belles Dusty downtowns Dilapidated slave quarters Spanish moss and Southern charm To bring to life their slice of history. Characteristics. Off-kilter characters (not right in the head)

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the america south
The America South

Writers use details about

  • Lonely plantations
  • Aging Southern belles
  • Dusty downtowns
  • Dilapidated slave quarters
  • Spanish moss and Southern charm

To bring to life their slice of history

  • Off-kilter characters (not right in the head)
  • Many broken bodies
  • Many more broken souls
  • Potential to do harm
  • Character questions morality
characteristics contin
Characteristics contin.
  • Struggle against social traditions and social values.
  • Outrageous and exaggerated human behavior.
  • Hinges on innocence, and the innocent’s place in the world – where they are often asked to act as redeemer
  • Love and loss
  • Purity of heart rarely overpowers desperation
  • Women are powered by their desires on one hand, their obligations on the other
  • Live on the outside of society
  • Long to find connection in this world
  • Are often strangers in strange places, small towns in Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana or Georgia inhabited by a compelling band of outsiders.
  • Usually a pivotal character or someone close to them who is set apart from the world by a disability or odd way of seeing the world.
  • Used to show readers the individuality of the southern culture & to connect each reader to his own unique “freakish” nature
  • Both literal (an incident where a character is sent to jail or locked up)
  • and figurative (characters live in fate’s prison without hope of parole)
sense of place
Sense of Place
  • Reader should feel like he has been placed in the center of a typical southern town/place
  • Calm, pregnant heat
  • Lost dreams
  • Wayward souls
gothic and southern gothic writers
Gothic and Southern Gothic Writers
  • Southern Gothic is a subgenre of Gothic
  • 19th Century: Edgar Allan Poe, Nathanial Hawthorne, Ambrose Bierce (Gothic +)
  • Romanticism: Supernatural, imagination,etc. led to Southern Gothic
  • 20th Century: William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Flannery O’Connor, Truman Capote, Cormac McCarthy, Carson McCullers
ambrose bierce1842 1914 an occurrence at owl creek bridge
Ambrose Bierce1842-1914?“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”
  • Recurring theme: dark vision of life centering on war and the cruel joke it plays on humanity.
  • Fought for the Union during the Civil War.
  • Wrote for newspapers in San Francisco and earned the nickname “bitter Bierce.”
  • Went to Mexico to cover, or join, its revolution in 1913 and was never heard from again.
william faulkner 1897 1962 a rose for emily
William Faulkner 1897-1962“A Rose for Emily”
  • Grew up in Oxford, Mississippi (many of his stories are set in Mississippi)
  • In 13 years he published 15 books (novels and short stories).
  • Often wrote stream of consciousness.
  • Won a Nobel Prize in 1949 and is considered one of greatest American writers.
  • Masterworks: Light in August, Absalom, Absalom!