Chapter 1 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Who is the main narrator of Absalom, Absalom!?

2. Who is the main character in Absalom, Absalom!?

3. How is Miss Rosa related to Thomas Sutpen?

4. Why did Thomas Sutpen marry Ellen Coldfield?

5. How many children does Thomas Sutpen have in Jefferson?

6. Explain the biblical allusion in the title Absalom, Absalom!

7. Describe the literary style Absalom, Absalom! is written in.

8. What historical event parallels the rise and the fall of the Sutpen dynasty?

9. What historical time-period is Faulkner writing about?

10. What is the name of the town in which Faulkner’s story takes place?

Answers
1. Quentin Compson, a young college student, is the narrator.

2. Thomas Sutpen, a frontiersman turned plantation owner, is the main character.

3. Thomas Sutpen married Miss Rosa’s older sister, Ellen.

4. Thomas Sutpen married Ellen Coldfield to gain respectability and beget a dynasty.

5. Thomas Sutpen has three children in Jefferson: Henry and Judith, by his wife, and Clytie, by a slave.

6. Absalom is the favorite son of King David who rebels against him and is killed by an uncle.

7. Absalom, Absalom! is written in the literary style of high modern¬ism. It breaks many of the standard rules of grammar.

8. The story of the rise and fall of the Sutpen clan parallels the rise and fall of the South.

9. Faulkner is writing about the historical time period from 30 years prior to the Civil War until about 1910 in the American south.

10. Absalom, Absalom! is set in Jefferson, Mississippi (based on Oxford, Mississippi), like many of Faulkner’s other novels.