William Faulkner Questions and Answers

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How might one compare and contrast Flannery O'Connor and William Faulkner?

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The most apparent similarity between the two authors is that they wrote in what is called the "southern gothic" genre. These kinds of stories are set in the American South and usually deal with how the past specifics of the culture there (slavery, antebellum culture, racism, social roles of women, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the tension between different social classes, etc.) continue to affect the modern world.

The lingering effects of the south's past appear in both Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily " and O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find," for instance. Both Emily and the grandmother are relics of a racist, class-obsessed past. They are out of step with the modern world. They look back on the pre-Civil War period as a golden age: Emily refuses to pay taxes and keeps her house as it was long ago, while the grandmother longingly refers to the south's past as "gone with the wind," in reference to the popular novel which romanticized the antebellum south's social mores, from slavery...

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