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. From whom does Sutpen purchase his land?

2. What is the setting of Chapter 4?

3. Shortly after Sutpen comes to Jefferson, he demonstrates a talent that both impresses and intimidates the town. What is that talent?

4. What is Mr. Coldfield's association with Sutpen before the marriage?

5. Which three characters have speaking roles in Chapter 1?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Rosa take such an intense interest in Judith's wedding?

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

3. 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." Who is she referring to when she says "he?" Who is she referring to when she says "him?"

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

5. The story of Sutpen's youth as a poor white on a plantation describes considerable hostility from poor whites directed at black slaves. What was the cause of this hostility?

6. 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"?

7. 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?

8. How did Judith's fiance die?

9. What does Rosa mean when she says that Sutpen "wasn't a gentleman"?

10. Why did Sutpen reject his first wife?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Discuss how Faulkner uses characters' clothing to characterize them throughout the novel. Pick a specific character and comment on the evolution of that character's dress throughout the novel and what that evolution means about that character.

(see the answer keys)

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