Southern Society in Literature

Examines works by Percy A. Shaw and Theodore Rosengarten to show the class structure in the Southern states of America.

The two works, “Lanterns on the Levee: the Recollections of a Planter?s Son”, by William A. Percy, and “All God?s Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw”, by Theodore Rosengarten, are very representative of the mind of the South during the era in which they were written. This paper shows that, although these are simply the stories of two men, the works have often been used as a reasonable comparison between the lives of the social elite whites in the rural South and the lives of the financially and socially oppressed blacks.
“Percy was able to rise above the economic reality of his region partly through the prominence of his ancestry, the luck of being born into a family with money, partly through the value of education and especially through his valiant war record. The full gambit of the work is representative of his complexity. As he is lays down his own personal memories of one of the most horrific experiences any man can live through, war, the reader is drawn into his human and admirable side and yet his privilege leads us to other conclusions about his character as a whole.”