Battle of the Southern U.S. and the Irish styles

After immersing myself with these works of Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, and Alice Walker I cannot help but see the similarity in our linguistic style. The poor rural communities that produced their writings bear resemblance to the makeup of rural Ireland; on both sides of the pond we display a strict sense of tight-knit xenophobic culture. In regard to these authors I admire how they incorporate their native land in the writing without sounding like a product of the environment. By this I mean that the South plays a role in the stories but these authors are able to not only present Southern values but expand and question them. Another point where Southern and Irish styles converge is in the attention to detail. I especially liked O’Connor’s visual approach to her writing which influences the detail she incorporates in her scenery. This is also seen in Welty’s work, I particularly love the vivid scenery in “A Worn Path.” On one final note I think both our cultures pay close attention to tradition. As I traveled beyond Ireland throughout Europe I never failed to recognize the importance in the Joyce family name. I see this same trait in Walker’s “Everyday Use” where she forces her reader to examine the significance of tradition and the culture it breeds. With so many similarities I cannot help but feel a close connection with these women of the South.

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About Alex Mueller

Alex Mueller can be found running and cycling the streets and suburbs of Boston, taking long sojourns in rare book archives whenever he can. He teaches English at UMass Boston, serves as Book Review Editor for Arthuriana, and writes about digital pedagogy, open access publishing, and medieval literature.

2 thoughts on “Battle of the Southern U.S. and the Irish styles

  1. I completely agree with Mr. Joyce's point about the southern authors' works that I have recently had the pleasure of reading. As Mr. Joyce says, "These authors are able to not only present Southern values but expand and question them." I believe a trait of any author worth their salt is to make observations about the society in which they live, then put those observations down creatively on paper. It is essential that certain values be questioned, because out of that questioning comes change.

  2. Interesting. According to what Mr. Joyce just said was right. i agree to what he said about the whole tradition and the Southern values. Each and every person have their style of writing including the linguistic way.

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