12 Jul 2009

Essays on Absalom, Absalom!

The story of “Absalom, Absalom!” takes place during the era from 1833 to 1909.  It is the chronicle of the Stupen family of Jefferson, Mississippi, the patriarch of which is Thomas Stupen who arrives in Jefferson in 1833, arriving with a French architect and several slaves.  Thomas ends up marrying the daughter of a local merchant who gives birth to a son and a daughter.  The children grow in uncultivated northern Mississippi countryside.  Thomas’ son, Henry, goes off to college where he meets a debonair student, Charles Bon, with the two becoming fast friends.  When Henry brings Charles home for Christmas, Charles seems to fall madly in love with Henry’s sister, Judith.  Thomas comes to realize that Charles is his own son from a prior marriage.  When Thomas tries to warn Henry, Henry believes his father is lying to him and leaves with Charles.

After Henry and Charles serve in the Confederate Army, Henry returns home and is told the whole truth about Charles, including the fact that Charles was given birth by a woman who was part black.  This information causes Henry to turn on Charles and when Charles returns to marry Judith, Henry murders him in front of the plantation gates.  Years later, Henry is murdered himself by a half-sister who was born of one of Thomas’ black slaves.

  • The story’s presentation was considered innovative when it was written.  Presented as a series of flashbacks as the events were related by different people telling the character Quentin Compson the details they were individually aware of, the story follows Quentin’s efforts to learn more about the history of the Stupen.    As each person relates their knowledge to this twenty year old college student, the dynamics of the tale come into focus. Describe the strengths and weaknesses of this approach and how effectively the approach was used in the novel
    The novel covers several controversial topics, including divorce, incest, racism and slavery.  Select one of these topics and discuss how the story presented the topic, how the topic itself affected the flow and outcome of the story and how these views have changed over the years in our society.

To piece together the puzzle of “Absalom, Absalom!” takes particular talent that many students lack.    The intricacies of its presentation give many students difficulty.  The novel’s name itself even holds somewhat hidden significance with the name Absalom coming from the Hebrew language, meaning “Father” or “Leader of,” giving a hidden hint of the novel’s nature.  Our skilled writers are available to assist in development of essays on this and many other literary novels.  Contact us today and let us assist you in the writing of your next essay assignment.

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