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American Southern Literature


American Southern Literature Southern Literature Southern literature announces the conjunction of the U.S. South and an expressive art texts identified as ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: American Southern Literature

American Southern Literature
Southern Literature
  • Southern literature announces the conjunction
    of the U.S. South and an expressive arttexts
    identified as belonging to a particular history,
    social organization, and cultural imaginary

  • One of the integral aspects of southern culture
    and tradition, is of its colorful literature and
    storytelling. Common themes of southern writers
    include significant familial relationships and
    realistic characters. Writers in the South also
    had a sense of historic background and a unique
    way of life worth writing about.

Influences in Southern Writing
  • Slavery
  • Civil War
  • Segregation
  • Revolution in culture
  • Poverty
  • Military/ War

Elements of Southern Writing Style
  • Dialect Writing
  • Not used often in other writings because it is
    viewed as condescending to the race or ethnicity
    being portrayed.
  • Popular in Southern writing and incorporates
    local speech and patterns i.e. aint, yall etc.
    and misspelling of words to display meaning i.e.
    yuh (you) and lak (like)

Dialect Writing Cont.
  • Examples of books with dialect writing
  • Tom Sawyer
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Huck Finn
  • The Color Purple

Examples of Dialect Writing
  • Excerpts from Their Eyes Were Watching God by
    Zora Neale Hurston
  • "At dat she ain't so ole as some of y'all dat's
  • "She ain't even worth talkin' after," Lulu Moss
    drawled through her nose. "She sits high, but she
    looks low. Dat's what Ah say 'bout dese ole women
    runnin' after young boys."

Common Themes
  • Chivalry
  • This theme reflected southern culture where women
    were treated with respect and were delicate
    flowers to be doted upon

Themes Continued
  • Values and Morals
  • Many values and morals in Southern literature are
    a result of a strong Christian influence
  • Family values are also very prominent. Usually
    this theme is presented from a traditional

A Writing Culture
  • the South, perhaps more than any other region,
    we go back to our home in dreams and memories,
    hoping it remains what it was on a lazy, still
    summer's day twenty years ago
  • - Willie Morris

Southern Poetry
  • Like our folks, poetry here is hillbilly and
    gentry, down-home and intellectual, neighborly
    and reclusive, generous and vengefullike folks
    everywhere, I guessbut with a more colorful
    vernacular and hand-rubbed vowels.              
      Wendy Carlisle
  • Southern Poetry was often written by men. Some
    talented southern poets include Edgar Allen Poe,
    Sidney Lanier, James Weldon Johnson, John Crowe
    Ransom and many more.

Southern Gothic Writing
  • Southern gothic, a genre of the American South,
    retreats from the dark castles and clanking
    chains of 19th-century European literature to
    embrace the moody romance, mystery, terror, and
  • Examples William Faulkners A Rose For Mary,
    and novels by Eudora Welty.

Great Southern Novels
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  • The Mind of The South by Wilbur Cash

Great Southern Writers
  • There are numerous famous Southern authors. Each
    person had different life experiences, thus they
    wrote and included varying themes in their books.
    Themes vary from reader to reader but prominent
    ones in Southern works include injustice,
    prejudice, standing up for your beliefs and many

William Faulkner
  • Many say Williams short stories resembled his
    life. They included struggles with rage,
    alcoholism, and adultery. Each of these hardships
    were sadly common in Southern America during the
    1920s through 1950s and even today. His works
    were famous in the South and encouraged many more
    Southern novels.

Flannery OConnor
  • Religion was a key factor in her life and thus
    reflected in her writing. She devout Roman
    Catholic but many of the characters in her books
    were Protestant.
  • It was her observation that Protestants
    expressed their faith through dramatic action,
    something she did not see in Catholics

Impact of Southern Writing on The Literary World
  • With the arousal of Southern literature came a
    new more authentic style of writing. They went
    against the grain by using small town issues and
    average joe dialect that made their South
    come to life. Many novels also aided in
    awareness on issues like racism and poverty.
    With the unassuming grace of the great South
    these authors have enlightened us on a culture
    filled with romanticism and family values.