William Faulkner Writing Styles in Absalom, Absalom!

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Absalom, Absalom! is considered to be one of Faulkner's most difficult novels because of its complex narrative structure. In a sense, the story becomes part of an oral tradition among the residents of Jefferson and, as Shreve becomes involved, people living beyond Jefferson. Many of Faulkner's characteristic structural innovations are employed in Absalom, Absalom!, such as long sentences, flashbacks, and multiple points of view describing the same events. Because the narrative structure is so unusual, the reader is kept off balance from the opening pages to the end of the novel and must learn how to read it as the book unfolds.

There are four characters narrating the story, and a fifth omniscient narrator also occasionally speaks to the reader. The challenge is often determining who is speaking at any given time because Faulkner switches from narrator to narrator without always signifying the change. The reader must...

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This section contains 879 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Absalom, Absalom! Study Guide
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