What does gothic mean? What is Southern Gothic, specifically? Wikipedia might be a good place to get a definition and explanation of what Southern Gothic is. How is “A Rose for Emily” an example of this? You might add that as your vocabulary word as well.
There are many genres that cover different writing styles throughout the history of literature. These genres help with identifying the themes and context of literature, which can be found in William Faulkners “A Rose for Emily”. One example of this is Southern Gothic.
Southern Gothic is known to be a subgenre of Gothic literature containing dark themes. The subgenre was common during the early 19th century and much of it stems from views and events of the American South. It covered controversial and grotesque characters, often known for its dark humor and ironic writing. These fictional stories are made from the inspiration of the Souths past of slavery, decay, and societal issues. William Faulkner is well known for writing in this subgenre and this story shows elements of it.
In the story itself, we learn about Emily from an outsiders perspective, us readers being fed information only from those who seem to know her. Within the story, rumors are spread based on the actions she takes.
“So THE NEXT day we all said, ‘She will kill herself’; and we said it would be the best thing. When she had first begun to be seen with Homer Barron, we had said, ‘She will marry him.'”
There are expectations for her to commit suicide, believing that it would be the best. This is one of the central themes as the story starts with Emily’s death, and further along the reader learns about how the death of her father affects her mentally. As she ages, her mental state becomes more unstable and she hides away from the eyes of society. The story fits in with the subgenre as it relates to the decaying home Emily lives in along with a transformation that leads to the worst. Her life shows a twisted form of reality, ending with her corpse being found in her bedroom.