Literary Precedents for A Virtuous Woman

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Gibbons's writing is based on the southern gothic foundation. Horror and mystery are intermixed with themes of kinship and loyalty. Gibbons skillfully utilizes language, situations, details, archetypes, and imagery which identify her work as the literary descendant of earlier works exploring the bizarre and universal nature of regional people and places. The southern gothic genre is frequently set in rustic, isolated areas and incorporates humor to alleviate the intensity of grotesque occurrences and imagery.

Good and evil are intrinsic in everyone and everything, and people's attitudes toward fate and destiny often seem defeatist. Characters sometimes represent extremes of size, have exaggerated features, or exhibit physical deformities, or they ignore expected gender and racial roles, acting independently from society, such as Mavis Washington's careless housekeeping. Women tend to be resourceful and invulnerable, withstanding assaults to their spirits, character, and body. Moments of gentleness are interspersed with cruelties, such as...

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This section contains 413 words
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Buy the A Virtuous Woman Study Guide
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