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.
Absolom Absolom -- William Faulker
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Stream of Consciousness in Faulkner’s Absolam, Absolam. While I was reading Absolam, Absolam. I was reminded once again of Faulkner’s particular writing style of stream of consciousness. The book itself is laid out very confusing having multiple narrators depicting incidents of the past, a recurrent theme of Faulkner’s identifying man’s connection to his past. The first narrator of Absolam, Absolam is Rosa, the sister in law of Thomas Sutpen. She describes Sutpen with so much hatred that he almost takes form of a monster, which is incapable of feelings.... [tags: Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! Essays]
450 words (1.3 pages)
- Is Absalom as much of a fool as he is brave for standing up and usurping David's throne. Absalom portrays his mark of bravery by revolting against the man who took down Goliath, but he unnecessarily places David off his thrown and gets himself killed. The faults David undergoes after being crowned king are the only instances that Absalom can legitimize his revolt and to question David's righteousness, but instead they actually show marks of David's morality that Absalom does not see.... [tags: Absalom Essays]
1047 words (3 pages)
- Four years after the publication of the first edition of Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!, Wallace Stevens described a modern aesthetic form which necessarily acted against its own status as a (fixed) form1. "What will [temporarily] suffice" in "Modern Poetry" would replace, as the mind's object, what is--or, perhaps more faithfully to the modernist vision, what used to be. The poem of the motion of the mind in time would replace the poem of permanent meaning. The fundamental difference between present and past, the breakdown of static forms, and the necessity of temporal flow all inform Stevens' aesthetic, which works towards a dynamic experience in time, as a substitute for the communicati... [tags: Absalom Absalom Essays]
3066 words (8.8 pages)
- The Themes of Faulkner's Absalom. Absalom. The theme of Absalom. Absalom. is the connectedness of humanity and the power of illusion vs. truth. In order to really translate these entities to the reader Faulkner uses the form of stream-of-consciousness. In this style of metaphorical writing one thing can lead you to all things, and vice versa. This is the form of the novel. One can compare this work to a gothic novel, to a Greek tragedy, to an entire metaphor for the situation of the South in itself, but the content is mainly giving us a metaphor for the connectedness of humans.... [tags: Absalom! Absalom! Essays]
1270 words (3.6 pages)
- The Women of Absalom, Absalom. The women of William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom. embrace fundamental characteristics of the nature of the South and its relation to the women who inhabit the area. The women particularly challenge the reader to an examination of the time of the Civil War, the relation of the war to the South, and the relation of the people to their surroundings. There is a call for recognition of the intrinsic complexities of the South that stem from the mythological base of the gentlemen class and the qualities of hierarchy that so ensue.... [tags: Absalom Absalom Essays]
1896 words (5.4 pages)
- Faulkner's Condemnation of the South in Absalom, Absalom William Faulkner came from an old, proud, and distinguished Mississippi family, which included a governor, a colonel in the Confederate army, and notable business pioneers. Through his experiences from growing up in the old South, Faulkner has been able to express the values of the South through his characters. William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom offers a strong condemnation of the mores and morals of the South. Faulkner's strong condemnation of the values of the South emanates from the actual story of the Sutpen family whose history must be seen as connected to the history of the South (Bloom 74). Q... [tags: Absalom Absalom Essays]
1356 words (3.9 pages)
- The Narrative Technique of Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom. 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. Miss Rosa, frustrated, lonely, mad, is unable to answer her own questions concerning Sutpen's motivation. Mr. Compson sees much of the evil and the illusion of romanticism of the evil that turned Southern ladies into ghosts.... [tags: Absalom Absalom Essays]
2148 words (6.1 pages)
- William Faulkner's "Absalom, Absalom!" William Faulkner’s novel entitled Absalom, Absalom. is a book which systematically utilizes the concept of discovering the past in the present. Faulkner’s use of the past in the present is pertinent in both the construction of the plot of Absalom, Absalom. as well as the extension of its interpreted meanings. Furthermore, Faulkner’s writing of Absalom, Absalom. appears to have been motivated by the great ills and conflicts of the American South, which was most poignant during the American Civil War, while the title, as well as its implications, was simultaneously conceived in Faulkner’s mind.... [tags: Faulkner Absalom Essays]
1431 words (4.1 pages)
- William Faulkner's "Absalom, Absalom!" When asked by his Canadian roommate, Shreve, to "[t]ell about the South. What's it like there. What do they do there. Why do they live there. Why do they live at all", Quentin Compson chose to tell the story of Colonel Thomas Sutpen (142).The previous summer, Quentin had been summoned by Miss Rosa Coldfield, the sister of Sutpen's wife, to hear the story of how Sutpen destroyed her family and his own. In Miss Rosa's home, he sat "listening, having to listen, to one of the ghosts which had refused to lie still even longer than most had, telling him about old ghost-times"(4).... [tags: William Faulkner Absalom Essays]
1875 words (5.4 pages)
- What Might Have Been in Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom. Emerging from and dwelling within an all-consuming lamentation, the characters of William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom. enwrap themselves in a world of hurt wherein they cannot or will not release the past. Each comes to know the tragic ends of lingering among an ever-present past while the here and now fades under fretful shadows of days gone by. As the narrative progresses. the major players in this installment of Faulkner's fictional Yoknapatawpha County grow ever more obsessed by what alternative actions different circumstances might have afforded.... [tags: Absalom Absalom Essays]
3335 words (9.5 pages)