Absalom, Absalom! – A Book for the Ages
Absalom, Absalom! is the story of a legend and the people who tell it over and over again. In September 1909, 20-year-old Quentin Compson goes to visit Rosa Coldfield, an older woman in his hometown of Jefferson, Mississippi. Miss Rosa has summoned him to listen to her version of the legend of Thomas Sutpen. That same night, Quentin goes over the story again with his father, Mr. Compson, who tells the story from a different perspective. Five months later, when he goes to Harvard, he reinvents the story with his roommate, Shreve.
In 1833, Thomas Sutpen came to Jefferson and built, without any help but his own wild, superhuman will, an enormous mansion on 100 acres that he swindled from an Indian tribe. With a band of foreign slaves and a French architect, he raises the house and cultivates a plantation. Within a few years he is one of the richest single planters in the county, and he marries the daughter of a local merchant (Rosa's older sister) and has a son and daughter, Henry and Judith. The two children grow up with privilege yet the knowledge that the town resents and despises their father. Henry goes to the University of Mississippi in 1859, and becomes friends with a worldly older student named Charles Bon. He brings Bon home for Christmas and holidays, and soon it is assumed that Bon will marry Judith. But Sutpen recognizes Bon as his own son--the son he abandoned when he discovered that his first wife had black blood. He follows Bon to New Orleans to be sure of this fact, then tells Henry that they cannot be married because Bon is actually Judith's half-brother. Henry refuses to believe his father and will not abandon his friend. They quarrel; Henry repudiates his birthright and leaves. For four years, while the Civil War rages, Henry tries to convince himself that Charles Bon and Judith can be married even if it means incest. He has almost justified it to himself when Sutpen (a colonel for the Confederate Army) calls his son to his tent and tells him that Charles Bon must not marry Judith. Not only is he Judith and Henry's half-brother, but Charles Bon also has black blood.
This information repulses Henry in a way that even incest does not. When Charles Bon insists on marrying Judith anyway, goading Henry to do something about it, Henry shoots Charles Bon as they walk up to the gates of Sutpen's Hundred. Then he disappears. Sutpen returns home after the war to a ruined dynasty and a devastated plantation. Determined to start over again, he first tries to marry Rosa Coldfield, then takes up with Milly, the 15-year-old granddaughter of a poor white squatter on his property. Increasingly impoverished and alcoholic, Sutpen insults Milly after she bears his child. Furious, her grandfather kills Sutpen that very day in 1869.
After she tells Quentin her version of the story, Rosa asks him to accompany her to Sutpen's Hundred, where Clytie (Sutpen's daughter with a slave woman; she is now in her late 60s) still lives. Clytie has been hiding Henry Sutpen there for four years while he waits to die. Quentin and Rosa discover this when they go to the estate after midnight. Rosa returns to the house three months later with an ambulance for Henry, and Clytie sets fire to the house, killing herself and Henry. No one remains of Sutpen's dynasty but Jim Bond, a mentally-impaired man of mixed blood.
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Absalom, Absalom! – Ghosts of the Old South Faulkner is notoriously cruel to his readers for making them scrape and dig for details in his almost incomprehensibly dense chronicles of the fictional families of Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, but not for nothing is he one of the greatest of American writers. A story is not a collection of cold hard facts but of ideas My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me? Sample essay topic, essay writing: My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me? - 1154 words
.. verything that he said to Bon. The word 'within' implies that they exist in each other, whereas the word 'upon,' implies being close together yet still separate, again highlighting this seeming contradiction. Through the descriptions of Charles Bon's body, as Absalom, Absalom! – My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me? The novel Absalom Absalom! by William Faulkner is filled with biblical references, from the creation story to Abraham, from David and Goliath to the story of Ham. Faulkner infuses the novel with biblical language, making it impossible to ignore the book's religious undertones. Throughout the novel, one of the central characters Thomas Sutpen is likened Faulkners Absalom, Absalom!: An Innovative Narrative Technique Sample essay topic, essay writing: Faulkners Absalom, Absalom!: An Innovative Narrative Technique - 1994 words
Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!: An Innovative Narrative TechniqueShawn Montano Guilt should be viewed through the eyes of more than one person, southern or otherwise. William Faulkner filters the story, Absalom, Absalom!,through several minds providing the reader with a dilution of its representation. Absalom, Absalom! – The Most Faulknerian Faulkner Book This novel is a historical reconstruction by the fictional Quentin Compson (from "The Sound and the Fury") of the long ago rise of Thomas Sutpen out of a bog of obscurity to become a wealthy landowner in Mississippi, only to have it all destroyed again. It features all of the bugaboos one expects of Southern
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