Southern Women In Robert Morgan's Gap Creek

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In today’s world, there is a stereotype of the typical Southern woman who always has her hair and nails done to perfection, kind, and is the ideal wife. However, Drewitz-Crockett goes on to argue that “people praised a woman by saying she is a fine woman and a hard worker, back in twentieth century.” Back then, work was appreciated, whether that entailed household chores, child birth, or farm work––that is how Robert Morgan portrays Julie Richards in his novel, Gap Creek.
In Robert Morgan’s novel, Julie Richards is represented as strong, hardworking, and knowledgeable about her surroundings in South Carolina. Her family even goes to describe to possess the ability to “work like a man” and because of this quality, people depend on Julie (Morgan 4). She is a people pleaser and never has the heart or willpower to say no to others.
The four letter word, work, easily sums up Julie’s life as she demonstrated this characteristic during the trek down the mountains with her father and dying brother Masenier, throughout her father's death and during
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She says, “I had a mountain of work ahead of me . . . This is my work . . . This is the work only I can do” (Morgan 284). Julie described giving birth as a full day’s work and remembered the reason for the term labor, as it was hard work and not to focus so much time on the pain. This mindset did not waiver when Julie’s child died––Julie cleaned the house until there was not a speck of dust or dirt to be found. It was her way to control what is happening in her life when she was unable to control the outcome of her daughter’s death. According to Drewitz-Crockett, “Through Morgan’s use of the past tense we know that time and Julie do move on, allowing us to conclude that work, though difficult, can also be a meaningful source of catharsis and renewal in the most difficult of
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