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. In what year does Thomas Sutpen arrive in Jefferson?

2. In what year does Stupen's marriage take place?

3. Where is Sutpen's architect from?

4. What military conflict has Miss Coldfield lived through?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Thomas Sutpen marry Ellen Coldfield?

2. 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?

3. How did Charles Bon actually find out about his father?

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

5. How did Judith's fiance die?

6. 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?

7. In Chapter 3, how does the breakout of the war affect the main characters of the story?

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

9. When General Compson rescues Charles Etienne Saint-Valery Bon from an indictment, he gives Bon money and tells him to leave town. He tells him that "once you are among strangers, people who don't know you, you can be whatever you will." What does he mean when he says that Bon "can be whatever" he wants?

10. 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"?

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 can _Absalom, Absalom!_ be considered a revenge story? Please provide specific examples from the novel.

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast the relationships between Charles and Henry, Henry and Judith, and Charles and Judith.

(see the answer keys)

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