SOUTHERN IDENTITY IN ELLEN GLASGOW’S BARREN GROUND: A “CONFLICT OF TYPES”
Keywords:American literature, literature of region, Ellen Glasgow, Barren Ground, American South, identity, Southernness, region
In her work, Ellen Glasgow tried to resolve the warring tendencies present in her family and her region: the conflict between the female emblem of the Old South and the male emblem of the New South, the romance of the past and the reality of the present, the yielding feminine and the authoritative masculine. The story Glasgow told about the South, and her relationship with it, did not completely fit together.What it revealed was not a seamless progress, but a habit of vacillation, with the author never really sure where, if anywhere, to take her stand. Her fiction is a compelling hybrid which explains what it was like to live in a place of difficulty at a time of change.This is the essence of Glasgow’s identity as a southerner, as of the conflicted cultural heritage she transposes into novels such as Barren Ground.
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