Southern Gothic is a subgenre of Gothic fiction unique to American literature that takes place exclusively in the American South. Common themes in Southern Gothic literature include deeply flawed, disturbing or disorienting characters, decayed or derelict settings, grotesque situations, and other sinister events relating to or coming from poverty, alienation, racism, crime, and violence. It is unlike its parent genre in that it uses these tools not solely for the sake of suspense, but to explore social issues and reveal the cultural character of the American South, with the Gothic elements taking place in a magic realist context rather than a strictly fantastical one. The images of Great Depression photographer Walker Evans are frequently seen to evoke the visual depiction of the Southern Gothic.
The southern Gothic style is one that employs the use of macabre, ironic events to examine the values of the American South.
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