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 does Mr. Coldfield do during the war?

2. What causes Henry and Charles Bon to abruptly leave Sutpen's estate one Christmas day?

3. What does General Compson do on the day of Sutpen's wedding?

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

5. Where does Thomas Sutpen get the money to build his estate?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Rosa Coldfield telling her story to Quentin Compson?

2. 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.

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

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

5. Chapter 6 reveals the way in which Thomas Sutpen insulted Rosa, an insult that led to Rosa calling off their engagement. How did Sutpen insult her?

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

7. 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?

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 Chapter 8, the reader receives a glimpse of the action that unfolded the night that Rosa and Quentin went to Sutpen's Hundred. How are these events similar to another situation that occurred at Sutpen's Hundred?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Jason Compson is one of the primary tellers of the Sutpen story. What is Jason Compson's role in this novel, in reader interpretation of the novel, and in Quentin's attitudes about the South?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

In what ways can the novel be interpreted as Quentin's story rather than Thomas Sutpen's story? Be sure to use specific examples from the novel.

(see the answer keys)

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