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. After Sutpen's estate has been built but left unfurnished for several years, he leaves Jefferson for a short period of time. What does he return with?

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

3. Where is Quentin while he's listening to the story about Thomas Sutpen?

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

5. What is Bon's rank in the army?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Ellen ask Rosa to protect Judith but not Henry?

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

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. When General Compson rescues Charles Etienne Saint-Valery Bon from an indictment, he gives Bon money and tells him to leave town. He tells him that "once you are among strangers, people who don't know you, you can be whatever you will." What does he mean when he says that Bon "can be whatever" he wants?

6. 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?

7. Why did Sutpen reject his first wife?

8. 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?

9. Why is Charles Etienne Saint-Valery Bon such a violent and troubled young man?

10. When did Sutpen tell General Compson about why he abandoned his first wife?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At the end of the novel, Sutpen's house burns to the ground, eliminating the last vestiges of his former wealth. Compare the physical decline of the Sutpen estate to the decline of the Sutpen family.

Essay Topic 2

Who is the protagonist of _Absalom, Absalom_? Who is the antagonist? Give reasons from the text to support your claims.

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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