Grotesque Characters

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Brittany Luckey
Mr. Clements
American Literature
21 March 2013
Grotesque Characters
What is a grotesque character? In literature, a character or location that is irregular, extravagant or fantastic in form. When used as a device, the purpose is often in the style of expressionism, making the grotesque a parody of human qualities or a distorted reflection of a familiar place. In many ways grotesque characters have some kind of problem in society, and example would be a veteran who lost a limb in war and trying to fit back into society, or anything that we see as not normal in our society. Characters in this particular subject can be deformed, obsessed, or in our terms just not normal or right. Another definition of a grotesque character is characterized by ludicrous or incongruous distortion, as of appearance or manner. Flannery O’ Connor, Angela Carter, and Carson McCullers all experienced uses with grotesque characters whose works can be seen with characters who are deformed, disfigured, or social outcasts. What elements make up grotesque characters? One element of the narrative that is a character can be irregular, extravagant or fantastic in form. A grotesque character may possess a exaggerated personality trait or characteristic for the purpose of eliciting both empathy and disgust in the reader. In Flannery O’ Connor’s stories she uses two different types of grotesque characters. One type of characterized grotesque characters are called "physical grotesques" and the other type of grotesque is called "secular grotesques." Two characters in particular are Mrs. Crater and Mr. Shiftlet; they are both grotesque characters, because they are both ruled by obsession. Mrs. Crater’s obsession is trying to marry off her daughter, and fails to see the character flaws of Mr. Shiftlet who cheats and lies. He uses Mrs. Crater for her money, Mr. Shiftlet is obsesses with morality and that makes both these characters grotesque, because their obsession rules...
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