Trick or Treat Essay

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Ullmann is a freelance writer and editor. In the following essay, she examines the southern Gothic elements in Powell’s short story.

“Trick or Treat,” by Padgett Powell, belongs to the southern Gothic subgenre of fiction. Southern Gothic is an offshoot of Gothic literature which is a genre that uses weird or supernatural elements in a story that examines social issues. Gothic is a type of romantic literature and borrows heavily from romanticism. Southern Gothic uses Gothic elements in conjunction with issues peculiar to the southern United States. The South has its own regional identity comprised of shared history, mythology, food traditions, and dialect. Predecessors to Powell in the southern Gothic subgenre include Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Harper Lee, and Eudora Welty—to name only a few. Powell uses Gothic elements in his story to raise it above the...

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This section contains 1,429 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Trick or Treat Study Guide
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