Common themes in Southern Gothic literature include deeply flawed, disturbing or eccentric characters who may or may not dabble in hoodoo, ambivalent gender roles and decayed or derelict settings, grotesque situations, and other sinister events relating to or coming from poverty, alienation, racism, crime and violence. While the tales in literature can be set among various classes, the decay of the southern aristocracy and the setting of the plantation are the usual settings for southern gothic tales in the popular mind.
The city had beat the pants off me. Whatever it required to get ahead, I didn’t have it. I didn’t leave the city in disgust—I left it with the respect plain, unadulterated fear gives. New York is an ugly city, a dirty city. Its climate is a scandal, its politics are used to frighten children, its traffic is madness, its competition is murderous. But there is one thing about it—once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough. All of everything is concentrated here, population, theater, art, writing, publishing, importing, business, murder, mugging, luxury, poverty. It is all of everything. It goes all right. It is tireless and its air is charged with energy.