Gothic Literary Tradition In Sucker, By Carson Mcculler

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Unit 3: Lesson 11 Introduction to the Southern U.S. Gothic Literary Tradition Key Question 11: 11. Read Carson McCuller’s short story “Sucker” and answer the questions that follow. a) List three characteristics of the Southern Gothic tradition. For each characteristic, provide an example from the story. -Theme of love and loss. An example of love in the loss in the short story, “Sucker” is Pete’s relationship with Maybell. They become friends, and Pete is in love with her, but she meets someone else and begins to ignore Pete once again. -Theme of innocence. In the story, Richard, who is also nicknamed “Sucker”, Starts out as a shy and timid twelve year old boy who aspires to be like Pete. His innocence becomes evident in the story when…show more content…
When Sucker decides it is time to stop being a pushover, he takes over Pete’s room with his friends and uses it as a hideout or clubhouse. Pete cannot stand to be in the same room with Richard anymore (trapped), and feels the need to get away. He begins to spend most of his time “at the drugstore, smoking and doing nothing, with the fellows who loaf there.” (Escape) b) Is Sucker a living, breathing person, or might he be created out of psychological need? Is he symbolic? Is sucker real or not? Write a personal essay supporting your answer with at least three pieces of evidence from the story. When writing, use the first person and refer to at least one experience or situation from your own…show more content…
Sucker is a symbol of imagination. I interpreted Sucker’s character to be a figment of Pete’s imagination; a representation of how he would like to change so that Maybell takes notice of him. Remembering my childhood, I often felt alone. I had an imaginary friend, whom I guess you could have called an alter ego as well. In the story we learn that Pete falls for a girl who is out of his league. She is popular. “All the boys are crazy about her, but she didn’t even notice me.” Pete on the other hand is shy and timid; he goes unnoticed, just as the character Sucker does. This leads me to ask myself, “Why wouldn’t Pete make an imaginary self to look up to? Well, he has no older brothers to look up to.” Pete allows himself to get angry at his imaginary self. Sucker, could have been his previous imaginative self, who he worked towards becoming, and Richard is the changed imaginary self he would like to become. He changes his idea of who he should be, which a common occurrence in high school is when we are trying to figure out who we are. He changes his idea of who he wants to be and morphs himself into a cooler, larger, more grown up alter ego to aspire

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