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. Why does Sutpen get arrested?

2. Who helps Thomas Sutpen when he comes to Jefferson in 1833?

3. Where is the visitor who Henry brings home for Christmas from?

4. In what year does the novel begin?

5. In Chapter 2, which characters are talking about the story of Thomas Sutpen?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the reader to imfer from the last paragraph of Chapter 1, which says that there were "two Sutpen faces," one Judith's and one a slave girl's, looking down at Sutpen fighting his slaves?

3. Why did Sutpen reject his first wife?

4. What does Chapter 6 imply about the reason why Judith took Charles Etienne Saint-Valery Bon in after he was orphaned?

5. Why do the townspeople show up at the wedding to throw dirt and vegetables? Is it something more than the fact that they don't like Sutpen?

6. At the end of Chapter 5, Rosa says there is "something in that house," referring to Sutpen's Hundred. Quentin responds, "In that house? It's Clytie..." What can the reader infer from this exchange?

7. What does Jason Compson identify as Henry's objection to Bon marrying Judith?

8. What is the significance of describing Judith and Henry as having a relationship as close as "that fierce impersonal rivalry between two cadets in a crack regiment"?

9. Why was Rosa offended that Wash Jones came to the front of the house when he arrived to notify her of Charles Bon's death?

10. What does Chapter 2 imply about the reason why Mr. Coldfield was the one who ordered the wagons to pick up Sutpen's home furnishings?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Point to cases of irony in the novel. What is the role of irony in the novel? How does the irony in the novel contribute to our understanding of the novel?

Essay Topic 2

The novel closes with Quentin insisting that he does not hate the South. Does he? Why or why not? Support your answer with evidence from the text.

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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