Differences Between Northern and Southern Writers

Topics: Southern United States, Southern literature, Short story Pages: 7 (3034 words) Published: January 27, 2013
The Differences Between

This paper is about four different American authors. Two are from the American South and two are from the American North. Their different styles of writing American literature stories are quite obvious. A goal is to point out the differences in these stories and what drove these authors to write these stories. Each region of our country has its own set of values that are unique to that section of the country. These values influence the characteristics of the life and the people of a particular region. By analyzing them, we will see certain themes and the similarities within the regions. While Southern writers focus on their proud heritage, every aspect of being “Southern” and wishing things could be the way they used to be. Northern writers tend to focus on Puritanism religion and beliefs. They looked forward to their religious freedom and moving forward from the past. They had no desire for things to remain the way they used to be. Southerners are described as family-oriented, friendly, hospitable and loyal. They are said to be more religious, secure and approachable. Southerners also are thought to be naive, culturally deprived and not as competitive. Words like energetic and aggressive are used to characterize Northerners. They are perceived to be more sophisticated, fashionable, and more culturally aware. Northerners also are viewed as callous, skeptical and suspicious. Due to the stressful environment of the urban North people are more afraid, less friendly and less open to others. Northerners, particularly Puritans, believed that life was seen as a test; failure led to eternal damnation and hellfire, and success to heavenly bliss. This world was an arena of constant battle between the forces of God and the forces of Satan, a formidable enemy with many disguises. Many Puritans excitedly awaited the "millennium," when Jesus would return to Earth, end human misery, and give them 1,000 years of peace and prosperity. Southern writer; William Faulkner, with his American classic, “A Rose for Emily” and Flannery O’Connor’s, “A Good Man is Hard to Find”, compared to Northern writers Nathaniel Hawthorne and Andre Dubus. Geographic’s and life experiences are driving factors and motivators for many authors. Southern writers use familiar elements in their stories, including; the landscape and the people, “characters,” who live on it, their food, religion, music, politics, folkways, their sometimes bizarre behavior, and, obviously, the language, not just dialect but imaginative phrases, a sense that the writer’s love of language is the very air he or she breathes. Great writer such as; Wharton, James, Hemingway, Fitzgerald have come out of the North—New York, and the Midwest, but they did not set out to express the character and spirit of those regions. There is no Northern literature as such. There is no such thing as northerners, except in the minds of Southerners; however, southerners are considered such by both the North and the South.

William Faulkner saw the south as a nation by itself. He described the South through families who often reappear from story to story. These reappearing characters usually grow older and cannot cope with the social change:  a common theme (disillusionment) of writers of that time. Faulkner writes with an uncommon method of timing sequences. He often makes the reader piece together events from a random and fragmentary series of impressions experienced by different narrators. An example would be from his story, “A Rose for Emily”. In this story; is more rightly called "first people" than "first person." Usually referring to itself as "we," the narrator speaks sometimes for the men of Jefferson, sometimes for the women, and often for both. It also spans three generations of Jeffersonians, including the generation of Miss Emily's father, Miss Emily's generation, and the "newer generation," made up of the children of Miss Emily's contemporaries. Many of Faulkner’s...
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