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). Quentin tells this story
in response to a Northerner's question: "What is the South like?" As the
novel progresses, Quentin is explaining the story of the Sutpen myth and
revealing it to the reader. Faulkner says that the duty of an author, as
an artist, is to depict the human heart in conflict with itself. This
attitude is revealed in the conflicts that Henry Sutpen undergoes in
Thomas Sutpen is the son of a poor mountain farmer who founded the
Sutpen estate. Thomas Sutpen stands for all the great and noble qualities
of the South, and at the same time represents the failure of the South by
rejecting the past and committing the same types of acts that his ancestors
did (Connelly 34). He rejects his own father to adopt a plantation owner
as his surrogate father, who acts as a model of what a man is supposed to
be. When the plantation owner tells Sutpen to use the back door instead of
the front door, Faulkner is using ...
... middle of paper ...
Aswell, Duncan. "The Puzzling Design of Absalom, Absalom!" Muhlenfeld 93-108
Bloom, Harold, ed. Absalom, Absalom! Modern Critical Interpretations. New
York: Chelsea. 1987.
Connelly, Don. "The History and Truth in Absalom, Absalom!" Northwestern
Faulkner, William. Absalom, Absalom! New York: Vintage, 1972
Levins, Lynn. "The Four Narrative Perspectives in Absalom, Absalom!" Austin: U
of Texas, 1971.
Muhlenfeld, Elizabeth, ed. William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!: A Critical
Casebook. New York: Garland, 1984.
Rollyson, Carl. "The Re-creation of the Past in Absalom, Absalom!" Mississippi
Quarterly 29 (1976): 361-74
Searle Leroy. "Opening the Door: Truth in Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!"
Unpublished essay. N.d.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- William Faulkner's classic Absalom, Absalom!, certainly ranks among the gems of twentieth century American literature and indeed is arguably the best Southern novel ever written. Indeed it might well be thought of as a metaphor of the Confederate legacy of the lost cause myth, which so desperately seeks an answer for how such a noble cause, championed by just and honorable men went down in utter collapse and defeat. For among the sorted affairs of the Sutpen clan lie the elements of destruction of Southern society.... [tags: legacy, South, William Faulkner, Margaret Mitchell]
1087 words (3.1 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)
- 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)
- Faces and Voices in Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom. While reading Absalom, Absalom. I was amazed at the number of times one of the narrators would refer to faces or voices as being present rather than to the people themselves. In almost every chapter this synecdoche appears, reducing many of the characters to images, shadows and memories. I think Faulkner uses this device to enhance the fact that the story is told from memory-- much of it from the point of view of the characters‘ childhoods. On page 184, Mr.... [tags: Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! Essays]
495 words (1.4 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)
- William Faulkner is the author of Absalom, Absalom!, a Southern novel published in 1936. Faulkner dedicates his writing in Absalom, Absalom. to follow the story of ruthless Thomas Sutpen and his life as he struggles against the suspicion and doubt of the small-town folk that were born and raised in Jefferson, Mississippi. Himself a native-born Mississippian, Faulkner entered the world in September of 1897, and left it in July of 1962 at sixty-four years of age. He was the eldest of four brothers, and the son of parents whose prominent families had been destroyed and leveled to poverty with the advent of the Civil War in America during the 1860s.... [tags: Literature]
1643 words (4.7 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)
- 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)
- How William Faulkner Constructs His Characters in Absalom, Absalom. Who says what - and how and when - may be the most compelling way William Faulkner constructs his characters in Absalom, Absalom. Storytelling is not just an act in which the saga of the Sutpens is recounted, revised, and even recreated; it is a gesture of self-disclosure. Each revelation about the past provides a glimpse into the present state of the narrating character's mind. The rhetoric, the digressions, the strange (and often obsessive) fixations of each character's account are the products of a range of personalities and view points, unable to agree on a definitive version of the story.... [tags: Absalom, Absalom Literature Narratives Essays]
4448 words (12.7 pages)
- Self Discovery in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and Camus' The Outsider
- Characters, Setting, and Conflicts in A Tale of Two Cities
- A Change of Fate in A Tale of Two Cities
- Plagiarism and The Red Badge of The Great Gatsby
- The Corrupt Social Structure Exposed in A Tale of Two Cities
- Reversal of Characters in A Tale of Two Cities