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 the letter that is presented in Chapter 4 written with?

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

3. Why does Thomas Sutpen stop attending church?

4. Who is Rosa engaged to at one point in her life?

5. What is the name of Thomas Sutpen's estate?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is it ironic that the only Sutpen descendant left at the end of the novel is Jim Bond?

2. How is Judith portrayed in Chapter 1?

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

4. What reason did Sutpen give for not joining the Klan?

5. Characterize the change in public opinion about Sutpen that occurs in the first few years of his residence in Jefferson, and explain why that change occurs.

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

7. Why didn't Sutpen like sugar?

8. 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?

9. In the final imagined scene of Chapter 8, Shreve and Quentin imagine what took place after Sutpen departed from the military camp, having just told Quentin about the true origin of Charles Bon. Henry tells Bon what Sutpen has told him. What does Charles tell Henry to do?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In what ways are children in this novel punished for what their parents have done? Is this punishment intended to be a larger commentary? If so, of what? Be sure to use specific examples from the text.

Essay Topic 2

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

Essay Topic 3

Discuss why Clytie chose to stay at Sutpen's Hundred her entire life, and why she remained loyalty to her family until the end. Be sure to use specific examples from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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