Forgot your password?  

Southern literature Summary

Everything you need to understand or teach Southern literature.

  • 79 Literature Criticism

Study Pack

The Southern literature Study Pack contains about 1,814 pages of study material in 79 products, including:

Essays & Analysis (79)

3,083 words, approx. 11 pages
In the following essay, first published in 1954, Welty discusses some general characteristics of Southern literature and praises the work of such modern novelists as William Faulkner, Katherine Anne P... Read more
10,996 words, approx. 37 pages
In the following essay, Spivey presents an overview of the role of the city in Southern life and the Southern literary imagination, noting that the South has traditionally—and mistakenly—... Read more
6,875 words, approx. 23 pages
In the following essay, Raper explores the special role of a sense of place in traditional Southern fiction and suggests that postmodern Southern writers have deliberately reacted against their locale... Read more
7,849 words, approx. 27 pages
In the following essay, Lowe discusses new directions in contemporary Southern fiction, including a reexamination of history, a more central treatment of popular culture, and a greater presence of wom... Read more
5,484 words, approx. 19 pages
In the following essay, Suarez examines the poetry of James Dickey and Robert Penn Warren as representative of the modern South, pointing out that their poetry is both regional and highly individual. ... Read more
6,709 words, approx. 23 pages
In the following essay, Bukoski discusses Shirley Ann Grau's fiction in terms of her “home-consciousness”—her use of interior spaces, houses, and dispossession to develop t... Read more
8,945 words, approx. 30 pages
In the following essay, Gabbin focuses on the literary career of Sonia Sanchez, stressing her blending of political and personal, urban and rural elements in her works. Death is a five o'clock ... Read more
9,892 words, approx. 33 pages
In the following essay, Buchanan presents an overview of Lee Smith's career, praising her talent as a natural storyteller, her flexibility in handling point of view, and her mixing of the comic... Read more
4,542 words, approx. 16 pages
In the following essay, Dvorak explores the role of cooking as it relates to a sense of community, spiritual sustenance, women's friendships, and female identity in three Southern novels. The t... Read more
5,488 words, approx. 19 pages
In the following essay, first published in 1996, Gretlund discusses Josephine Humphreys's existentialism as seen through the choices her characters make in their daily lives and in particular S... Read more
6,049 words, approx. 21 pages
In the following essay, Cawelti presents an overview of Cormac McCarthy's career, stressing that his works connect the new Western and the new Southern literature genres through a concern for a... Read more
4,490 words, approx. 15 pages
In the following essay, Fine asserts that the Southern locale itself is tangential to Bobbie Ann Mason's fiction and that she concentrates instead on her characters' search for meaning i... Read more
7,556 words, approx. 26 pages
In the following essay, Chew presents an overview of Rita Mae Brown's novels and essays, focusing on her political consciousness and her treatment of social class and categories in her novels. ... Read more
6,658 words, approx. 23 pages
In the following essay, Bennett explores the role of humor in Southern literature, particularly as it relates to women writers, focusing on the idea that humor offers a challenge to the status quo. La... Read more
13,318 words, approx. 45 pages
In the following essay, Yaeger discusses Southern women writers' frequent use of physically grotesque characters in their works and emphasizes the latter's political role in “mapp... Read more
8,095 words, approx. 27 pages
In the following essay, Prenshaw examines the role of women, particularly mothers and daughters, in the fiction of Eudora Welty, noting that she depicts Southern women as a source of strength and spir... Read more
8,491 words, approx. 29 pages
In the following essay, Page discusses the paucity of a truly Southern literature prior to the Civil War and summarizes the principal Southern novelists, short story writers, and poets of the antebell... Read more
5,756 words, approx. 20 pages
In the following essay, originally delivered as an address in 1908, Smith surveys a number of enduring poems by minor pre-Civil War poets and analyzes the reasons for the lack of literary productivene... Read more
6,754 words, approx. 23 pages
In the following essay, Cotterill disparagingly assesses the writing of the Old South, from newspaper journalism to fiction. It is more than probable that in the field of literature the people of the ... Read more
2,110 words, approx. 8 pages
In the following excerpt, Holman stresses the economic and cultural grounds for the dearth of accomplished Southern literature during the years 1800 to 1865, seeing Edgar Allan Poe, William Gilmore Si... Read more
9,066 words, approx. 31 pages
In the following essay, Simpson considers the development of the myth of the Old South as a spiritually redemptive community. The Civil War, Richard M. Weaver says in his essay entitled “The So... Read more
4,639 words, approx. 16 pages
In the following essay, Werner presents an overview of early nineteenth-century Southern literature, arguing that the Old South played a crucial role in the cultural growth of the fledgling United Sta... Read more
6,840 words, approx. 23 pages
In the following essay, Wimsatt surveys the mostly romantic prose fiction of the pre-Civil War American South. Antebellum Americans, especially in the South, relished the popular romance as it had dev... Read more
7,223 words, approx. 25 pages
In the following essay, Thompson contrasts the typically regional focus of nineteenth-century Southern writers with that of Edgar Allan Poe, whose work consistently transcends the literary tropes and ... Read more
7,645 words, approx. 26 pages
In the following essay, Cardwell presents the subject of dueling as an important element in the “aristocratic” culture of the Old South, one frequently treated by writers of the period. ... Read more
5,913 words, approx. 20 pages
In the following essay, Degler outlines the economic and historical sources of Southern cultural distinctiveness, maintaining nonetheless that differences between Northerners and Southerners in the fi... Read more
9,481 words, approx. 32 pages
In the following excerpt, Ridgely observes myth-making qualities in the novels of the Old South—romantic works that elaborate themes of Southern uniqueness, manifest destiny, and separatism. Th... Read more
5,751 words, approx. 20 pages
In the following essay, Bakker probes John Pendleton Kennedy's subtle critique of the pastoral ideal in Swallow Barn and his subsequent reaffirmation of this myth in Horse-Shoe Robinson. An Ame... Read more
7,339 words, approx. 25 pages
In the following essay, Kreyling highlights the typical adherence of the antebellum novel to the conventions of heroic romance. We lack a tradition in the arts; more to the point, we lack a literary t... Read more
7,368 words, approx. 25 pages
In the following essay, Bakker traces the pattern of pastoral and anti-pastoral impulses in four narrative romances of the Old South.         &#... Read more
9,388 words, approx. 32 pages
In the following excerpt, Gray studies the antebellum novels of William Gilmore Simms and his contemporaries as they valorize the South while occasionally depicting the region as slowly but continuous... Read more
5,920 words, approx. 20 pages
In the following essay, Watson illuminates William Gilmore Simms's comparison of Revolutionary America with the antebellum South in his novels of the 1850s and 1860s. In the first part of his c... Read more
4,411 words, approx. 15 pages
In the following essay, Bakker emphasizes Caroline Lee Hentz's and E. D. E. N. Southworth's manipulation of conventional sentimental devices in their early romances for the purpose of di... Read more
9,987 words, approx. 34 pages
In the following essay, Scott documents the dissatisfaction of many Southern women with the restrictive roles assigned to them in the Old South. Open complaint about their lot was not the custom among... Read more
10,915 words, approx. 37 pages
In the following essay, Gwin suggests thematic affinities between Harriet Beecher Stowe's abolitionist novel Uncle Tom's Cabin and Mary H. Eastman's pro-slavery response Aunt Phil... Read more
4,762 words, approx. 16 pages
In the following essay, Bakker explores the theme of hesitant or repressed rebellion by women in the writings of Caroline Lee Hentz, Caroline Gilman, and Eliza Ann Dupuy. In the romances of the female... Read more
12,031 words, approx. 41 pages
In the following excerpt, Tracey examines the “double-proposal” novels of Caroline Lee Hentz as works that critique the position of privileged women in antebellum society while reinforci... Read more
3,512 words, approx. 12 pages
In the following essay, Woodell describes three unusual novels by the little-known Charleston writer F. Colburn Adams that attack Southern hypocrisy and the institution of slavery. Francis Colburn Ada... Read more
6,065 words, approx. 21 pages
In the following essay, Hedin concentrates on the new literary strategies of nineteenth-century slave narratives which grafted morality, political awareness, and irony to the simpler, eighteenth-centu... Read more
5,253 words, approx. 18 pages
In the following essay, Doherty comments on Harriet Jacobs's skilled application of the narrative conventions of the popular sentimental novel to her Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. In 1... Read more
9,808 words, approx. 33 pages
In the following essay, Yarborough contends that Frederick Douglass's reinterpretation and exaltation of a slave rebellion in his novella The Heroic Slave is subverted by the underlying prejudi... Read more
2,665 words, approx. 9 pages
In the following essay, Sewell assesses the work of several Southern fiction writers of the late nineteenth century. With the period of recuperation and readjustment which came soon after the Civil Wa... Read more
5,473 words, approx. 19 pages
In the following essay, Rubin surveys Southern literature of the post-Reconstruction period, concentrating on the local color movement, literary depictions of blacks, and the state of poetry. In 1873,... Read more
9,897 words, approx. 33 pages
In the following essay, Ridgely presents an overview of Southern literature between 1879 and 1899, emphasizing major figures and works in the era of local color. The South's strong resistance d... Read more
4,370 words, approx. 15 pages
In the following essay, Richardson describes the work of the major local color writers of the New South. When the journalist Edward King visited New Orleans in early 1873 as representative of “... Read more
14,760 words, approx. 50 pages
In the following excerpt, Gray concentrates on developments in the literature of the New South from the romance and nostalgia of early writers, to the cultural expressions of Sidney Lanier's po... Read more
4,881 words, approx. 17 pages
In the following excerpt, Howell summarizes modern historical assessments of the New South, focusing on such themes as Southern distinctiveness, identity, industrialization, economics, populism, and r... Read more
5,447 words, approx. 19 pages
In the following essay, Simpson comments on the contemporary, politicized interpretation of Mark Twain as the novelist of a regenerate America. “What are the Great United States for, sir,ȁ... Read more
6,758 words, approx. 23 pages
In the following essay, Rubin examines George Washington Cable's novel John March, Southerner as it illustrates the limitations of the genteel, local color tradition that dominated Southern fic... Read more
5,678 words, approx. 19 pages
In the following essay, Kreyling appraises the literary tastes of the New South in relation to three novelists: Lafcadio Hearn, Grace King, and George Washington Cable. The southern writer in the clos... Read more
5,168 words, approx. 18 pages
In the following essay, Shillingsburg studies representative works by Caroline Hentz, Grace King, and Kate Chopin as they reflect women's changing views in the late nineteenth-century American ... Read more
10,931 words, approx. 37 pages
In the following essay, Stephens probes the literary precursors of George Washington Cable's novel The Grandissimes and discusses the work as the first fully-realized family saga in Southern li... Read more
10,315 words, approx. 35 pages
In the following excerpt, Gray addresses historical and biographical elements at work in the early fiction of Ellen Glasgow. Ellen Glasgow was reluctant to think of herself as a Southern writer. She w... Read more
6,783 words, approx. 23 pages
In the following introduction to her book-length study, MacKethan details the post-Reconstruction literary vision of the Old South as a pastoral paradise. In 1863 a fifteen-year-old printer's a... Read more
4,400 words, approx. 15 pages
In the following essay, MacKethan explores the rhetorical and structural techniques used by writers of the New South in their representation of old plantation myths. The literary phenomenon of the Old... Read more
7,332 words, approx. 25 pages
In the following essay, Glazer and Key analyze popular depictions of the Old South plantation pastoral in the late nineteenth century. In simple truth and beyond question there was in our Virginia cou... Read more
9,769 words, approx. 33 pages
In the following essay, Gebhard enumerates culturally subversive qualities in otherwise sentimental representations of white Southern gentlemen in the literature of the New South. [Colonel Grangerford... Read more
931 words, approx. 4 pages
In the following excerpt, Cash recounts the birth of a new literature in the Reconstruction South. There is one curious and apparently paradoxical fact here which must be considered … I mean th... Read more
4,651 words, approx. 16 pages
In the following essay, Ridgely studies the literature of a culturally-isolated South during the Reconstruction era. Hath not the morning dawned with added light? And shall not evening call another st... Read more
2,929 words, approx. 10 pages
In the following essay, Grammer examines the myth of the pastoral South as it is represented in the literature of the Civil War period and after. In June, 1862, as northern troops menaced Richmond, th... Read more
12,495 words, approx. 42 pages
In the following essay, Long contends that Elizabeth Stuart Phelps's 1868 novel The Gates Ajar offers an early symbolic analysis of “the inadequacy of traditional belief systems” ... Read more
744 words, approx. 3 pages
In the following essay, Ayers and Mittendorf consider the effects of the Civil War on the lives of Southerners and the literature of the American South. The Civil War was the most important event in t... Read more
7,411 words, approx. 25 pages
In the following essay, Tracey explicates E. D. E. N. Southworth's novel Britomarte, the Man-Hater as it portrays social and ideological disruptions in gender roles caused by the Civil War. E. ... Read more
11,217 words, approx. 38 pages
In the following essay, Eaton evaluates the impact of the Civil War on Southern culture. The founding of the Southern Confederacy, young Sidney Lanier predicted, would inaugurate a new and glorious er... Read more
5,452 words, approx. 19 pages
In the following essay, Moore chronicles the correspondence of poet Paul Hamilton Hayne with author and critic James Maurice Thompson, particularly as their writing touches upon the theme of postwar r... Read more
4,233 words, approx. 15 pages
In the following essay, Turner comments on the diversity of the American South, and on the need for further study of lesser Southern authors of the post-Civil War period. It would be possible, I suppo... Read more
10,386 words, approx. 35 pages
In the following essay, Osthaus documents the career of William Tappan Thompson, an influential writer and Savannah journalist who voiced the opinions of conservative, white supremacist, and non-appea... Read more
7,904 words, approx. 27 pages
In the following essay, originally published in 1981, O'Brien surveys historical treatments of the South from the prewar decades to Reconstruction, emphasizing the theme of historical continuit... Read more
5,854 words, approx. 20 pages
In the following excerpt, Alexander discusses political continuity and historical change that occurred over the Civil War period. … It does not take one long to discover that not only is consen... Read more
7,904 words, approx. 27 pages
In the following essay, originally published in 1981, O'Brien surveys historical treatments of the South from the prewar decades to Reconstruction, emphasizing the theme of historical continuit... Read more
5,854 words, approx. 20 pages
In the following excerpt, Alexander discusses political continuity and historical change that occurred over the Civil War period. … It does not take one long to discover that not only is consen... Read more
4,651 words, approx. 16 pages
In the following essay, Ridgely studies the literature of a culturally-isolated South during the Reconstruction era. Hath not the morning dawned with added light? And shall not evening call another st... Read more
2,929 words, approx. 10 pages
In the following essay, Grammer examines the myth of the pastoral South as it is represented in the literature of the Civil War period and after. In June, 1862, as northern troops menaced Richmond, th... Read more
12,495 words, approx. 42 pages
In the following essay, Long contends that Elizabeth Stuart Phelps's 1868 novel The Gates Ajar offers an early symbolic analysis of “the inadequacy of traditional belief systems” ... Read more
744 words, approx. 3 pages
In the following essay, Ayers and Mittendorf consider the effects of the Civil War on the lives of Southerners and the literature of the American South. The Civil War was the most important event in t... Read more
7,411 words, approx. 25 pages
In the following essay, Tracey explicates E. D. E. N. Southworth's novel Britomarte, the Man-Hater as it portrays social and ideological disruptions in gender roles caused by the Civil War. E. ... Read more
11,217 words, approx. 38 pages
In the following essay, Eaton evaluates the impact of the Civil War on Southern culture. The founding of the Southern Confederacy, young Sidney Lanier predicted, would inaugurate a new and glorious er... Read more
5,452 words, approx. 19 pages
In the following essay, Moore chronicles the correspondence of poet Paul Hamilton Hayne with author and critic James Maurice Thompson, particularly as their writing touches upon the theme of postwar r... Read more
4,233 words, approx. 15 pages
In the following essay, Turner comments on the diversity of the American South, and on the need for further study of lesser Southern authors of the post-Civil War period. It would be possible, I suppo... Read more
Follow Us on Facebook