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Key Elements of Southern Gothic Novel

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Caroline Jeddeloh

on 20 September 2013

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Transcript of Key Elements of Southern Gothic Novel

Key Elements of Southern Gothic Novel
Southern Gothic
.Sub-genre of Gothic
.Popularity reached its peak in 1940s-1960s
.Supernatural (ex: ghosts), grotesque things, irony
Freakishness: There is often a pivotal character who is set apart by a disability or an odd way of seeing the world.

Imprisonment: A character is often figuratively and/or literally jailed.

Violence: Violence is prevalent due to the time period in which it is being written and the racial tension and fear at the end of the civil war.

Sense of place: With southern gothic writing, you know the details of where you are.

Disturbing, horrifying, and ironic events are used to look at the values of the american south.

Character types
Outsider -
doesn't follow mainstream
'Off-Kilter' Characters -
broken bodies/minds/ souls symbolize problems (usually 'not right in the head')
Grotesque Characters -
deeply flawed
Innocent Characters
- innocent characters are often used to show their place in the world.

.Characteristics of decay, dark forests, eerie houses, ghosts
.Southern town and what it feels like (old, small town, old downtown with stately but worn down buildings)
.Sense of decayed (often rural) setting
.Evil/disturbing events (ex: racism, poverty, violence)
"Banned Books." : To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.

"Gothic Fiction." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Sept. 2013. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.

"Oprah Winfrey's Official Website - Live Your Best Life - Oprah.com." Oprah.com. N.p., n.d.
Web. 16 Sept. 2013.

"Room 195: Southern Gothic." Room 195: Southern Gothic. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.

"Share Book Recommendations With Your Friends, Join Book Clubs, Answer Trivia."
Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2013.

SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2013.

"Southern Gothic." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Sept. 2013. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.

"The Sound and The Fury Overview." SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2013.

"As I Lay Dying Plot Overview." SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2013.

Rylander, Jeanette. "Flannery O'Conner: Wise Blood." Flannery O'Conner: Wise Blood. N.p., 3 July 2002. Web. 20 Sept. 2013.
Distinguishing Features
Common Plots and Themes
Themes: Deeply flawed, disturbing or eccentric characters who may or may not tinker in folk magic, conflicting gender roles and decayed or derelict settings; grotesque situations, and other sinister events.
Plot: explore southern social
interaction and issues (usually
involves mild to severe violence
as main points in plot line
-First popularized in 19th century.
-Authors that used this style included Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Ambrose Bierce.
-1920s and 30s, William Faulkner makes the genre popular again with his story about the rage and confusion of the defeat of the South in the Civil War
William Faulkner
Flannery O'Connor
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