By Monica Carol Miller
In the South, one idea of “being grotesque” implies beside the point or coarse habit that transgresses social norms of courtesy. whereas well known stereotypes of the area usually spotlight southern belles because the epitome of female strength, ladies writers from the South often stray from this conference and make investments their fiction with woman protagonists defined as gruesome or chastised for behaving that means. via this divergence, “ugly” could be a strength for difficult the strictures of normative southern gender roles and marriage economies. In Being grotesque: Southern ladies Writers and Social Rebellion, Monica Carol Miller unearths how authors from Margaret Mitchell to Monique Truong hire “ugly” characters to upend the expectancies of patriarchy and open up extra probabilities for southern lady identity.
Previous scholarship frequently conflates ugliness with such different types because the gruesome, undeniable, or abject, yet Miller disassociates those detrimental descriptors from a bunch of characters created through southern girls writers. targeting how such characters seem susceptible to rebellious and socially irrelevant habit, Miller argues that ugliness subverts assumptions approximately gender by means of making a choice on people who are mistaken for the predicted roles of marriage and motherhood. rather than time-honored courtship and marriage plots, Miller locates in fiction through southern girls writers another family tree, the gruesome plot. This narrative culture highlights woman characters whose uprising deals an area for re-imagining replacement lives and families against the prestige quo.
Reading works by way of canonical writers like Zora Neale Hurston, Flannery O’Connor, and Eudora Welty, in addition to contemporary texts through modern authors like Helen Ellis, Lee Smith, and Jesmyn Ward, Being Ugly bargains a huge new point of view on how southern ladies writers confront regressive ideologies that insist upon restricted roles for women.
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