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 Rosa Coldfield's sister ask of Rosa before the sister dies?

2. 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?

3. What is the relationship between Rosa Coldfield and Judith Sutpen?

4. Why is Quentin listening to the story about Sutpen?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Sutpen want to have a big wedding, even though he knew it wasn't a good idea?

2. 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?

3. 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?

4. When Clytie is trying to get Quentin to bring Rosa back downstairs when Rosa has come to Sutpen's Hundred in 1909, Clytie tells Quentin, "Whatever he done, me and Judith and him have paid it out." What does she mean that they have "paid it out?"

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

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

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

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

9. Why didn't Bon view his first marriage as a barrier to marrying Judith?

10. What was Rosa Coldfield's childhood relationship with Thomas Sutpen and his family?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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