Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hagenston, Becky

Committee Member

Kardos, Michael

Committee Member

Claggett, Shalyn

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of English


In her essay, “The Grotesque in Southern Fiction,” Flannery O’Connor notes, “Whenever I’m asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one” (44). In the introduction to this collection, I investigate the importance of the grotesque, gothic, and surreal elements that tend to make up the depictions of the South in the works of authors such as Flannery O’Connor and Brad Watson and several horror writers, such as Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft, exploring how horror can be used to emphasize the stranger elements of Southern fiction. In my own stories, I present both realistic depictions of suffering and sin in the South, as well as the strange and surreal, presenting the South not just as a world for freaks, but as a freakish world in and of itself.

Included in

Fiction Commons