Absalom, Absalom! Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is Henry's rank in the army?

2. What does Thomas Sutpen like to do in his barn for entertainment?

3. What is the weather like the night of Sutpen's wedding?

4. What happens to Rosa Coldfield's aunt when Rosa was ten?

5. What is the relationship between Quentin Compson and Rosa Coldfield?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is it significant that it rains on Sutpen's wedding night?

2. When Thomas Sutpen tells the story of his childhood to General Compson, he mentions that he lost his innocence when he went to the door of the planter's house and was told he must use the back door. What was the innocence in regard to?

3. Why were all the charges against Sutpen dropped after his bond was signed by Mr. Coldfield and General Compson?

4. When Clytie is trying to get Quentin to bring Rosa back downstairs when Rosa has come to Sutpen's Hundred in 1909, Clytie tells Quentin, "Whatever he done, me and Judith and him have paid it out." What does she mean that they have "paid it out?"

5. What was Rosa Coldfield's childhood relationship with Thomas Sutpen and his family?

6. Why didn't Rosa defy her father and attempt to reinstate the store so she could survive financially?

7. What does Rosa mean when she says that Sutpen "wasn't a gentleman"?

8. Why did Wash Jones kill Sutpen?

9. What is Quentin's answer to Shreve's final question of the novel?

10. Several times throughout Chapter 4, Jason Compson mentions that Henry put Bon on "probation" for four years. What was the point of this probation?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the relationship between Henry and Bon to the relationship between Quentin and Shreve.

Essay Topic 2

Pick one female character in the novel and describe her role in the text, how she is characterized, and what that role and characterization reveal about the novel's attitude toward women.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss how Thomas Sutpen could be interpreted as a sympathetic character. Who in the novel views Supten sympathetically? Be sure to use specific examples from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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