Southern Gothic Literature, which is a sub-genre of the Gothic writing style, is unique to the American South. This literature is mainly about grotesque themes, damaged and delusional characters. It is inspired by an early gothic writing that is popular in the 18th century in England. The authors of gothic literature wanted to expose the problems they saw in society. The authors wrote fiction that includes supernatural and romantic elements. Often stories of hauntings, death, darkness and madness. The characteristics of southern gothic literature includes isolation, marginalization, violence, crime, sense of place, freakishness, destitution, decay, oppression and discrimination.
“A Good Man is Hard to Find” qualify as southern gothic because it reunites the elements that withstand this genre from the others. All the violence, horror, and dismal surrounding that is shown by the author O’ Connor’s stories; there’s too much moral messages. Appears as a sense of darkness, suspense and foreboding about the story that begins with the grandmother reads about The Misfit in the newspaper. Flannery O’ Conner rejected the label “Southern Gothic” for the same reason she rejected the idea that her writing was “grotesque”. With O’ Conner’s religious perspective, she always emphasized that her work was interested more in the light that could come through in moments of darkness and was meant to inspire hope and meditation rather than horror or disgust. That’s why she preferred the term “Catholic realism” to describe her work.
“Good Country People” qualify as southern literature because there’s many gothic elements.