First Advisor

Hildy Miller

Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English and University Honors

Department

English

Language

English

Subjects

incest, southern, gothic

Abstract

In this paper, I am exploring the topic of incest through the lens of the Southern Gothic literature genre. I am interested in why the American South has the stereotype of having more prevalence of individuals who engage in incest in mountain communities versus other parts of the communities in America. I explore the intersectionality of race, geographic isolation, religion, and the taboo of incest in a small community. I use the texts of William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy, and Breece D'J Pancake to do in-depth analysis of Southern Gothic themes such as taboo, family secrets, Christianity, and the grotesque. By doing analysis of fiction the fictional works of these writers, I am able to gain a better understanding of why the south has a reputation for inbreeding. I also look at modern examples from a video project done by Mark Laita which shows the heavy inbreeding of a family in Odd, West Virginia. My reasons for writing this thesis is to shine light on the dark secret of incest and discover why certain parts of America may prone to engaging in acts over other parts.

Rights

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Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/36807

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