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'Absalom, Absalom' Questions for Study and Discussion

William Faulkner's American Novel

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Absalom, Absalom is a famous novel by William Faulkner. The book references a famous Biblical episode in the title, and the novel is famous for its relation to the Old South and race relations. But, what do you know about this novel? Answer these questions, as you study Absalom, Absalom.
  • What is important about the title?

  • What are the conflicts in Absalom, Absalom? What types of conflict (physical, moral, intellectual, or emotional)?

  • How does Faulkner reveal character in Absalom, Absalom?

  • What are some themes in the story? How do they relate to the plot and characters?

  • Compare/Contrast Thomas Sutpen with the Old South.

  • Is Thomas Sutpen consistent in his actions? Is he a fully developed character? How? Why?

  • Do you find the characters likable? Are the characters persons you would want to meet?

  • Discuss some of the symbols in Absalom, Absalom.

  • Does the story end the way you expected? How? Why?

  • What is the central/primary purpose of the story? Is the purpose important or meaningful?

  • How essential is the setting to the story? Could the story have taken place anywhere else?

  • Who are the narrators in Absalom, Absalom? Why does Faulkner use multiple narrators? How would the novel have differed with only one narrator?

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