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International Journal of Research in English

Vol. 6, Issue 1, Part C (2024)

Delineating Poe’s literary style in flannery O'connor's short stories


Monika Sharma and Tushar


Southern Gothic, a subgenre of Gothic fiction, is written by Flannery O'Connor. The genre of Gothic fiction owes a great deal to Edgar Allan Poe, who is considered to be its father. O'Connor borrowed a lot of Gothic motifs from Poe. Despite this, she had been effective in using gothic aspects in her writings in a somewhat different manner than Edgar Allan Poe. In her short works "The Life You Save May Be Your Own," "Good Country People," and "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," she uses a gothic motif to evoke mental and occasionally physical estrangement, imprisonment, grotesque, macabre, and secluded settings. The selected short stories by this author do not contain any supernatural aspects, yet her characters are flawed and dangerous. They arouse readers' empathy for their circumstances, yet they go above and beyond what is expected of them. Unlike Poe, her villains and wicked characters don't typically commit murder. As in the first two instances, they attempt to physically harm the victims' minds. The theme of estrangement is central to the narrative. In O'Connor's writings, self-absorption is the main factor that leads to alienation, as opposed to Poe's writings where decaying and barren surroundings create an isolated zone. Swindling people involves gruesome elements, such as captivity, according to O'Connor's stories. In Poe's writing, it is, on the other hand, supernatural. Many of these elements are apparent in Poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’, ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ and ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’. This paper will study how O’Connor has traced Poe in her selected short stories. Did she directly portray her characters in Poe’s sense? How did she use gothic in a different mind than him? What new elements did she add to her short stories in the 20th century, and to what extent has she reproduced Poe in her writing?

Pages: 171-174  |  57 Views  25 Downloads

International Journal of Research in English
How to cite this article:
Monika Sharma and Tushar. Delineating Poe’s literary style in flannery O'connor's short stories. Int. J. Res. Engl. 2024;6(1):171-174. DOI: 10.33545/26648717.2024.v6.i1c.185
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