Criticism: Themes In Southern Gothic Literature - Essay

Claire Kahane (essay date 1983)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Kahane, Claire. “The Maternal Legacy: The Grotesque Tradition in Flannery O'Connor's Female Gothic.” In The Female Gothic, edited by Juliann E. Fleenor, pp. 242-56. Montreal: Eden Press, 1983.

[In the following essay, Kahane writes that O'Connor's female characters, using the techniques of gothic fiction, profoundly articulate their sense of helplessness within and revolt against established cultural order.]

Gothic fiction has received a good deal of critical attention in the last decade, and much of it from psychoanalytic critics, who find its easy display of fantasy in the service of fear congenial to their analyses. For the most part, these critics...

(The entire section is 7093 words.)

Erik D. Curren (essay date spring 1995)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Curren, Erik D. “Should Their Eyes Have Been Watching God?: Hurston's Use of Religious Experience and Gothic Horror.” African American Review 29, no. 1 (spring 1995): 17-25.

[In the following essay, Curren proposes that Hurston uses gothic devices in Their Eyes Were Watching God to effectively convey the politics of the master-slave relationship, while also ratifying the vitality and nurturing nature of African religious practice.]

The title of a literary work may be leading or misleading, but it is often a good place to start an analysis. When title words or phrases are repeated inside the text, connecting them to the specific place where they...

(The entire section is 5502 words.)

Robert K. Martin (essay date 1998)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Martin, Robert K. “Haunted by Jim Crow: Gothic Fictions by Hawthorne and Faulkner.” In American Gothic: New Inventions in a National Narrative, edited by Robert K. Martin and Eric Savoy, pp. 129-42. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1998.

[In the following essay, Martin examines the themes of gender and race in Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables, and notes that the issues raised in the novel are mirrored in Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! However, Faulkner's novel, while dealing with many of the same issues, presents a more complicated picture of the world, replacing Hawthorne's happy ending with a vision that is ultimately nightmarish.]


(The entire section is 5141 words.)