Sample Essay Outlines
Sample Analytical Paper Topics
These are topics on which you can write a substantial analytical paper. They are designed to test your understanding of major themes and details from the play as a whole. Following the topics are outlines you can use as a starting point for writing an analytical paper.
Discuss the significance of racism to the plot structure of Absalom, Absalom!. How did it contribute to the downfall of the Sutpen clan? How was the downfall of the clan foreordained?
I. Thesis Statement: Racism is a central issue to the plot of Absalom, Absalom! and contributes to the downfall of Thomas Sutpen’s empire.
II. Outline of Thomas Sutpen’s rise:
A. Sutpen’s humiliation at the Pettibone plantation.
B. Sutpen’s trip to seek his fortune in Haiti; his role in the Haitian uprising, and his marriage to Eulalia Bon.
C. Sutpen’s renunciation of Eulalia Bon and their son, Charles Bon.
D. Sutpen’s building of “Sutpen’s Hundred” using slave labor.
III. Ways in which the past returned to haunt Thomas Sutpen:
A. His son, Charles Bon, returns and engages himself to Sutpen’s daughter, Judith.
B. Henry Sutpen chooses friendship with Charles Bon over his relationship with his father.
C. Henry kills his friend and his sister’s betrothed, Charles Bon.
D. Charles Etienne St....
(The entire section is 1064 words.)
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