November 10, 2017
Southern Gothic Assignment
Do you believe Miss Emily had a mental illness?
Why did Miss Emily not have many admirers in her life?
Do you believe that Miss Emily killed Homer Barron? Why?
Where do you think her problems root from?
Dose her father have an influence on her even after he’s died?
Gothic literature, a type of literature that focused on decay, death, and terror grew in response to the historical, sociological, psychological, and political contexts of the late eighteenth century. Gothic literature is very different from other types of literature. Gothic stories have common elements such as horror, supernatural events, ghost, gloomy settings, etc. It deals with a lot of horror and thriller aspects with gruesome details. In “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allen Poe, at the end the character describes about hanging a cat from a tree and axing his wife’s head. Gothic literature also almost always has a male lead character, often insane, who doesn’t always win the conflict in the story.
A lot like Gothic literature, southern gothic literature includes supernatural and unusual events to help shape and mold the foundation of the story line. However, unlike traditional Gothic stories, Southern Gothic stories focus more on highlighting social issues like racism and white supremacy but in a subtle way. They would use situations like damsel in distress or a heroic knight and twist them into a creepy or deeply flawed character. This allowed the authors to have more of a range of what they could and couldn’t say because they were then highlighting trouble Southern sociological issues. A southern gothic author usually avoids perpetuating stereotypes such as the contented slave, the demure Southern belle, the chivalrous gentleman, or the righteous Christian preacher. “A Rose for Emily” shows the influence that Southern Gothic had on William Faulkner’s stories: this particular story has a moody atmosphere; a damaged old home; and decay, putrefaction, and grotesquerie. William’s work uses the sensational elements to highlight an individual’s struggle against an oppressive society that is undergoing quick change. Another trait in the Southern Gothic atmosphere is appropriation and transformation. Faulkner has appropriated the image of the damsel in distress and transformed it into his character, Emily, a psychologically damaged women. Both of these genres are similar but when you break it down you start to see the differences between them.