The Southern Gothic Genre Of Literature

1528 WordsMay 3, 20177 Pages
The southern gothic genre of literature can be described as “plots involving violence or hidden trauma, eccentric and often psychologically troubled characters, and an atmosphere of repression and decay” (Oxford Dictionary). This dark, depressing theme found in literature is one that highlights the harsh realities that characters face in their own geographic area. It is vital for southern gothic stories to incorporate the theme of some type of external decay. In the texts Salvage the Bones and Swamplandia! we can observe the struggles and consequences of simply where the characters find their lives to be located at. Challenges are introduced to the lives of the characters in Swamplandia! when they realize the truth of what they are up…show more content…
This idea of nothingness where the Bigtree children felt as if they weren’t being productive with their lives (enough to leave Swamplandia) may be due to their surroundings. With the death of their star alligator wrestler mother, the theme park started to decline. The amount of visitors to the island quickly diminished and Swamplandia eventually saw a point of nobody stopping to see the alligators. It also becomes apparent that the father of the Bigtree family had spent more money than he had and the park had actually entered into great debt. In addition to this, the theme park doesn’t boom like it used to, so the Bigtree family could not make a profit. Soon, with the accumulation of debt and no new visitors in line for a ticket, it was inevitable that the Bigtree family would become poor. Kiwi responds to his father’s incompetence to guide the family into financially stable lives by leaving the island to work on the mainland. In his note to his father he states, “I am relocating to Loomis County to raise funds to preclude what will otherwise result in a fiscal cataclysm for our family and certain penury and insolvency” (Russell 73). The limitations set on financial resources (due to the park decline) is a central part of the decay in this text. The father actually tries to make up for the money loss by lying to his children, working at a casino, and staying at a motel for what he claims to be for business. The
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