Absalom, Absalom! Chapter 5 Questions and Answers

William Faulkner

Chapter 5 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How far is Sutpen’s Hundred from the town of Jefferson?

2. What happened to Ellen Sutpen during the Civil War?

3. What happened to Ellen Sutpen’s flower beds during the Civil War?

4. Why does Miss Rosa choose to live at Sutpen’s Hundred?

5. Who else is living at Sutpen’s Hundred?

6. Why does Thomas Sutpen propose marriage to Miss Rosa?

7. Why does Miss Rosa refuse him?

8. From what cloth did Judith sew her wedding dress?

9. What is the purpose of the use of italics in this chapter?

10. Who is the main narrator of Chapter Five?
Answers
1. Thomas Sutpen’s plantation, Sutpen’s Hundred, is located 12 miles from the town of Jefferson.

2. Ellen Sutpen retired to her room after learning that Charles Bon was her husband’s son, and gradually faded away until she died in her darkened bedroom.

3. Ellen Sutpen’s flower gardens became ruined and weed-choked.

4. Miss Rosa chooses to live at Sutpen’s Hundred for the basic necessities of life: food, shelter, and company. Also, she was asked by Ellen Sutpen, on her deathbed, to take care of her niece Judith.

5. Judith Sutpen and Clytie are also living at Sutpen’s Hundred with Miss Rosa.

6. Thomas Sutpen wants to continue building a patriarchy, and sees Miss Rosa as a possible wife who could bear him children.

7. She refuses him because Thomas Sutpen proposed that he and Miss Rosa try to conceive a male child before marriage.

8. Judith sewed her wedding dress from stolen scraps of satin and lace.

9. Italics are used in order to denote a new shift in the depth of the tale: they denote that we are now getting Miss Rosa’s own words, not Quentin’s memory of them, as in previous chapters.

10. Miss Rosa is the main narrator of Chapter Five.