: Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, and Flannery O'Connor by Sarah Gleeson-White Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, and Flannery O'Connor have all acknowledged in one way or another the ugliness that saturates their fictional worlds, an ugliness that is so frequently embodied--literally-- in their female characters.1 In this essay, I concentrate on those texts which are most readily recognized as grotesque -- Welty's A Curtain of Green, McCullers' The Ballad of the Sad Café, and O'Connor's A Good Man Is Hard to Find 2 --in order to reinvigorate an understanding of . Concentrating on female grotesques, I want to suggest that these freakish women that so loudly dominate these stories engage in a politics of dissent. And this occurs on two levels. Firstly, the raucous women in Welty's, McCullers', and O'Connor's fiction challenge idealised and, needless to say, oppressive visions of white southern womanhood -- the southern lady and the southern belle -- that have dominated southern gender regimes from the antebellum period right up to the present. Secondly, the contorted and fragmented bodies that fill these writers' stories at the same time own up to a tragic history in which they have partaken, even if in silence. Such a
The Southern Literary Journal – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Dec 30, 2003
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