Essay on Absolom Absolom

Essay on Absolom Absolom

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Absolom


Absolom is the story of the downfall of the South. In the novel, Faulkner, despite the fact that he is a southern writer, portrays the south as the cause of it’s own downfall. He condemns the morals and ethics of the South. However, Faulkner also attempts to make a connection between man and time. Time is very important for him and we can see it in his writing style as well as in the characters’ stories.
The principal theme of the story is the destruction of the South as the result of corrupt morals and unethical decisions that are made. This is a recurring theme in many of Faulkner’s works. The downfall of the South ties in with the Civil War. The fall of the Coldfield family, one of the most respectable families in town, brought by Thomas Sutpen, a man of mystery who appeared out of nowhere marked by his lack of morals, symbolizes the destruction of the South. The whole foundation of the South is a family. The South was constructed as a family in order to create the “blue-blood” line that the north had, so it is understandable why Faulkner chose that metaphor.
Faulkner leads us to believe that South was doomed to failure despite its attempts to recreate the sense of civility and holiness. Behind the illusory mask of religion, matrimony, and family life in general lies lust, incest, fratricide, and slavery. Incest seems to appear more frequently than others. Charles Bon, son of Thomas Sutpen and Eulalia Bon, becomes engaged to his own sister, Judith, only to become a victim of fratricide. Lust and adultery play an important role in adding to the sin list. Sutpen’s first wife is Eulalia Bon. When Sutpen finds out that she was not of Spanish decent as he originally thought, but of African decent he leaves her a...


... middle of paper ...


...’t that different and that Africanism still exists.
Shrieve can be considered as anoter narrator to the story. He is the one who asks Quentin to tell him about the south. Rather than a narrator, Shrieve is a good listener, but he interjects with his own opinions on the story. Through Shrieve, who is not even American but Canadian, we can see the outsider’s point of view. Shreve’s final view of the South is one of pessimism about the possible fate of the south and the modern world.
Faulkner has a very pessimistic view of the world in general. While the downfall of the South is a recurring theme, we get an idea that the past is being repeated and that the South is symbolic of America or the world. Sutpen’s story has to be studied so that we can learn from the mistakes of the past and never repeat them.


Bibliography:
Absolom Absolom -- William Faulker

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