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. In what year does Stupen's marriage take place?

2. Where does Supten live for the first few months of his residence in Jefferson?

3. Shortly after Sutpen comes to Jefferson, he demonstrates a talent that both impresses and intimidates the town. What is that talent?

4. To whom does Sutpen become engaged shortly after he is arrested?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Judith give the letter from Charles Bon away?

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 does Jason Compson, who is telling much of the story presented in Chapter 2, know so much about Sutpen?

4. How does Rosa depict Judith's reaction to Charles Bon's murder?

5. Shreve and Quentin believe that one aspect of the idea of Charles marrying Judith is more repulsive to Henry than another. What is it?

6. In Chapter 4, Jason Compson says that "...it must have been Henry who seduced Judith, not Bon..." What does this mean?

7. Why did Henry choose to reject his family and his birthright when his father forbade the marriage between Bon and Judith?

8. Characterize Thomas Sutpen as he is portrayed by Rosa Coldfield's description in Chapter 1.

9. Repeatedly throughout Chapter 3, Ellen is referred to as "a butterfly." Why is she characterized this way, and what does it mean?

10. How is Judith portrayed in Chapter 1?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Examine how Quentin changes over the course of the novel and explain how and why. Be sure to use specific examples from the text.

Essay Topic 3

Describe the different narrative techniques used in the novel and what their effects are on reader interpretation. How much of the novel is factual and how much is speculation?

(see the answer keys)

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