Title

The Home Tie

Date of Award

12-2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

English

Advisor

Morris, Keith L

Committee Member

Koon , Bill

Committee Member

Manganelli , Kim

Abstract

The Home Tie is a collection of short fiction that utilizes place as a vital literary element by exploring the southern landscape and giving a candid rendering of the people who live in the region. Outsiders' conceptions of the South are varied, from the genteel southern belle strolling beneath the Spanish moss of her Savannah plantation to the unrefined redneck blaring country-western music from his oversized pick-up truck; from the clergyman greeting his long procession of faithful church-goers to the Klansman still calling his secret meetings somewhere in the backwoods of Appalachia. There is a feeling, both within and without, that we are still in the midst of Reconstruction, in a state of recovery, that we are still battle-worn and eager for secession. These combined fairytales (or horror stories) of the South are neither hyperbole nor whole truth, but they are the chief reasons that place is such a vital element in southern fiction. These stories aim to balance the amalgamated myth of 'South' with the reality of the characters, to present the reader with a truth about the characters themselves and not a generalization about the place from which they come. For those of us who have lived there, or for others who have seen depictions of it through film or popular fiction, the South does seem to be more than just a region on a map. It is more like a material entity. From its deep-fried cuisine to its sweltering, humid summer days to its distinct southern drawl, the South is palpable, tangible, audible. It is a presence. The objective of The Home Tie is to portray it honestly, with all the poverty, ignorance, grotesqueness, absurdity, and racism that has become a part of both its truth and its mythology.

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