Suicide and southern ghosts: the location of self-violence

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dc.contributor Crank, James A.
dc.contributor Harris, Trudier
dc.contributor Melton, Jeffrey Alan
dc.contributor.advisor Crank, James A. Stewart, Caitlyn 2019-08-01T14:24:36Z 2019-08-01T14:24:36Z 2019
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0003362
dc.identifier.other Stewart_alatus_0004M_13823
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract Whether or not they have resisted the categorization, many southern authors have produced works marked by unique depictions of grotesque violence. Critics have often investigated this theme through a regional lens, exploring it as a link between the fictions of various southern writers. Missing from this wealth of scholarship, however, is an analysis of portrayals of self-violence—self-harm and, particularly, suicide—within these texts. This thesis endeavors, therefore, to account for the commonality of self-violent acts in fictional southern landscapes, from Yoknapatawpha to Farr’s Gin. First treating the example most widely discussed in scholarship, Quentin Compson in William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, it proposes that his suicide be removed from its usual vacuum and read alongside more opaque acts of similar self-violence in both Absalom, Absalom! and Light in August. The second section examines John Singer’s suicide in Carson McCullers’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, which critics have commented upon mostly in relationship to its effect on the other characters in the novel, as an act of autonomy that leaves a permanent mark on the town and facilitates the story’s unsettling conclusion. Finally, the third section analyzes Eudora Welty’s short story “Clytie” as a microcosm of Welty’s personal South, a fictional landscape haunted by Clytie Farr’s inability to conform to social norms and her ultimate death. In all of these texts, self-violent characters represent apparitional projections of authorial conflict—ghosts, haunted in life by unique awareness of the South’s constrictions and doomed after death to serve as tombstone-like reminders of this reality to both the other characters and the works’ broader readerships.
dc.format.extent 46 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Literature
dc.title Suicide and southern ghosts: the location of self-violence
dc.type thesis
dc.type text University of Alabama. Department of English English The University of Alabama master's M.A.

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