Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Kathryn McKee

Relational Format



This work explores the lives of black and white Southern women, focusing on their role in Southern society as mothers. It covers a variety of Southern literature from var>'ing time periods concerning women of different races and social classes. In each of the works, I have found that maternal characteristics bring women together with an opportunity to bridge gaps between the races, thus allowing motherhood the pov/er to blend cultures. This work is divided into three sections. The first section is an introduction into the lives of women as mothers. It explores the joys and pains of motherhood, and asserts the manner in which women must act as mothers according to the laws of Southern society. The second section looks at the effects of casting the South as a motherland. The third section analyzes the conflict that arises when women A^Tite across racial lines, with the premise that Southern women writers are often telling the story of their mothers. This work concludes by examining the lives of daughters in Southern literature who are the offspring of a blend of mother-figures, both black and white. These daughters are of a new generation in the South, and have gained the knowledge through their mothers that long-standing rules of society are not always right.

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