"I done something wrong" : En karnevalteoretisk analys av gränsöverskridande i A Good Man is Hard to Find, A Curtain of Green och Trash
This study seeks to question old and common misconceptions concerning the american literary genre Southern Gothic. By using the carnival theory, the theory about the "grotesque" by Mikhail Bakhtin, this study seeks to explain and reach a better understanding of some works defined as Southern Gothic - so called because of the significance that is attributed in the genre to the geographical location in the southern United states. This study analyzes carnivalesque transgression in short story collections by Flannery O´Connor, Eudora Welty and Dorothy Allison, and the main purpose is to investigate if the genre really is as dark as it is often described by critics; pessimistic, absurdly shocking and without any affirmation regarding the beauty and strength of life.
Transgression is here defined as the transgression made by fictional characters when their bodies and their actions refuses to conform to the norms established by "the official world". By using Bachtins terminology my main thesis is to investigate positive and life-affirming transgression in A Good Man is Hard to Find, A Curtain of Green and Trash. The study further investigates the ways in which the bodies of the fictional characters become grotesque and in what way the characters through their behaviour become carnivalesque. The short stories are also compared with eachother from both a tematic and historic perspective: can changes through time be observed? Does the grotesque form or expression change in any way from Welty to Allison? The conclusion of the study is that both grotesque and carnivalesque forms can be found in the short stories, and it can be considered carnivalesue in a true Bakhtinian way, as both positive and affirming. The study also finds that the grotesque tends to become more positive and life-affirming through time.
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