Absalom, Absalom! Topics for Discussion
by William Faulkner

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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Do you think Faulkner liked women? Why or why not?

2. To what extent do you believe Faulkner used this novel to voice his own political views?

3. Discuss the narrators' prejudices and how they interfere with their ability to give credible accounts of Sutpen's story. Do you believe any one narrator has more credibility than the others? Why or why not?

4. Explain the meaning of "A house divided against itself cannot stand" as this saying relates to Sutpen's story.

5. What is the essential irony of Sutpen's design?

6. What factors influence Miss Rosa's judgment of Thomas Sutpen as a "demon?"

7. How does Shreve McCannon's understanding of Sutpen's story differ from that of the other narrators?

8. How does the gossip in the tale contribute to Faulkner's structuring of the novel?

9. What characterizes Sutpen's Hundred as a legendary setting?

10. How is Thomas Sutpen's treatment of both Rosa and Milly indicative of his misguided obsession with creating his design?