Absalom, Absalom! Chapter 7 Questions and Answers

William Faulkner

Chapter 7 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What are the “dragons’ teeth” to which Shreve refers?

2. What further information in Chapter Seven is given about Mr. Coldfield’s relationship to Thomas Sutpen?

3. What is Thomas Sutpen’s “grand design”?

4. Why won’t Thomas Sutpen eat sugar?

5. What was the main event that precipitated Thomas Sutpen’s grand design?

6. Why doesn’t Thomas Sutpen ever tell the date or the place of his birth?

7. Why was it so difficult for Sutpen’s family to follow the pioneer trail west?

8. Why does Thomas Sutpen repudiate his first wife?

9. Where does Thomas Sutpen make his fortune?

10. How does Thomas Sutpen make his fortune?

Answers
1. The “dragons’ teeth” that Shreve refers to are the metaphor Mr. Compson uses for Thomas Sutpen’s children.

2. Thomas Sutpen persuaded Mr. Coldfield to use his credit in an unethical way to make money, and when the scheme failed, he locked himself in the attic.

3. Thomas Sutpen’s grand design is to become a rich plantation owner who sires an empire.

4. Thomas Sutpen won’t eat sugar because of the smell of burn¬ing sugar in Haiti which was in the air when he defended the Frenchman’s plantation against the rebelling slaves.

5. The main event that precipitated Thomas Sutpen’s grand design was being turned away from a plantation door by a liveried slave.

6. Thomas Sutpen never tells the date or the place of his birth because he doesn’t know them.

7. It was difficult for the family because the mother died and the father was an alcoholic.

8. Thomas Sutpen repudiates his first wife because she was part African.

9. Thomas Sutpen makes his fortune in Haiti.

10. Thomas Sutpen makes his fortune first by being a slave overseer and then by marrying the plantation owner’s daughter.