Absalom, Absalom! Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

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Can you analyze the role of the community of Jefferson in Absalom, Absalom!?

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Inside the fictional world of William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! Jefferson, Mississippi is at the center of Yoknapatawpha County, a fictional county that Faulkener fashions after the pieces of southern culture that he both reveres and laments. The name Yokonapatawpha is a compound of two Chickasaw words meaning, "split land." This brief lesson in Faulkner's lore and etymology of Yoknapatawpha helps readers understand how the role of the community in Jefferson, Mississippi. Jefferson represents the crossroads where the golden age and decrepit future of plantation culture meet. As an epicenter of the wealth, commerce, and their more lurid consequences, Jefferson is a place Thomas Sutpen would natually be drawn to while seeking to amass his fortune with more regard for wealth than scruples. However, community life in Jefferson reveals that relationships, partnerships, and appearances are not always what they seem. Indeed place, itself, and the people who inhabit it seem split between two realities: the past they long to cling to and the future that they cannot delay.

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