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 Mr. Coldfiled's association with Sutpen after the marriage?

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

3. In Chapter 4, the reason why Henry rejects his family and his birthright is revealed. What is that reason?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. When Thomas Sutpen tells the story of his childhood to General Compson, he mentions that he lost his innocence when he went to the door of the planter's house and was told he must use the back door. What was the innocence in regard to?

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

3. 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?

4. Why didn't Sutpen like sugar?

5. 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?"

6. Why did Sutpen reject his first wife?

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

8. 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"?

9. 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.

10. Why did Thomas Sutpen marry Ellen Coldfield?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Does the novel put forth a commentary about fate? If so, what is it? Please provide specific examples from the novel.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

What is the role of blood in this novel, in terms of heritage? How does blood dictate what the characters can and cannot do and can and cannot be?

(see the answer keys)

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