Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Cheryl Walker

Reader 2

John Peavoy

Rights Information

© 2013 Michelle M. Christovich


In this paper, I will examine works of Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, and Carson McCullers, three Southern women writers who wrote during the first half of the twentieth century. While these authors differ in a number of ways, each of them produced work that deals, often explicitly, with ideal Southern womanhood and the expectations this ideal places upon women. Additionally, each of these three authors uses the grotesque as a tool for examining ideal womanhood, most often represented through the ideal of the Southern Lady. This paper is concerned with analyzing the link between the grotesque and the ideal of the Southern Lady, specifically the ways in which O’Connor, Welty, and McCullers employ the grotesque as a tool for exposing the limiting and destructive nature of this ideal.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.