Analysis Of Mab Segrest And Lee Smith

Decent Essays
Mab Segrest and Lee Smith both write about envisioning a New South. This is a South that acknowledges women and minorities as holding roles that are not considered “grotesque” (Segrest 362) Lee Smith would employ the metaphor of adding more rooms to the “House of Fiction” (Smith 35). Segrest and Smith refer to an expansion of Southern literature that makes room for women to have multiple unique characteristics. Segrest would term this as writing “toward a women’s literature of wholeness” (362) and Smith would liken it to the “remodeling” of the “House of Southern Fiction” (Smith 35). However, Segrest and Smith have different concepts of how to do this remodeling. Segrest feels women are a “community of Southern women searching together in the delicate connections between solitude and friendship for our visions of ourselves and what our world could be” (Segrest 362). The key words are “together” and “our”, as Segrest sees this as a journey where women of all demographics should stand together to fight for the enlargement of the New South. Smith takes a different route and contends that individual minorities need to be recognized in order to establish their wholeness. She turns to Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and Literary Imagination to explain how Southern literature traditionally possesses a “neglect of darkness” (Morrison). Morrison claims that “the habit of ignoring race is understood to be graceful, even generous, liberal gesture” (Playing in the
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