Race And Gender Roles : The Women On The Porch As Southern Gothic Literature

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Race and gender roles were an ever present issue in the Southern culture and dynamic. After the Civil War, dramatic changes began to take place in the South. Political leaders began to enact Civil Rights amendments, industrialization became more popular, and gender roles were beginning to be indistinct. In Southern literature, the portrayal of female characters evolved along side with the Southern culture. Female characters became more independent, strong-willed, and hardworking. Even African Americans became the main characters in Southern literature. In “Caroline Gordon’s Ghosts: The Women on the Porch as Southern Gothic Literature”, Tanfer Tunc discusses the evolution of the female character in Southern literature. Tunc also notes that traces of racism can still be found in Southern literature. Even though civil rights were being encouraged, some individuals still held onto their Old Southern beliefs. Examples of these traits can be found in the works of Southern authors. In Zora Neale Hurston’s “Sweat”, Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use”, and Kate Chopin’s “Desiree’s Baby”, the authors use racism as a defining point in their short stories. Each of the authors draw attention to the separation and the lingering hostility between the African American and Caucasian communities. After the Civil War, women in Southern society started their own Feminist movement. They demanded equal political, economic, and social rights for women. As female roles in society began to evolve, so did

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