Absalom, Absalom! is the story of Thomas Sutpen, a Virginia native who rises to become a powerful slaveholder in Mississippi before the Civil War. Sutpen's journey is narrated and reinterpreted by the grandson of a friend, university student Quentin Compson, and by Rosa Coldfield who knew Sutpen personally. The sordid details of Sutpen's life and his attempts to become a patriarch and dynasty-builder are filtered and re-filtered through various narrators, creating a quintessentially Southern narrative of violence and frustrated ambition.

Summary of Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

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Absalom, Absalom! Chapter Summaries (Free)

1SparkNotes

Review: The most popular website for book notes. SparkNotes was created by students for students, and their summaries are accessible and extremely well-written. Besides the usual plot overview, chapter summaries, and character analysis, SparkNotes differentiates itself with a section discussing themes, motifs, and symbols.

2Pink Monkey

Review: Their chapter summaries aren't as good as other providers, but PinkMonkey often has interesting insights that aren't mentioned elsewhere on the Internet. For example, they go over literary elements (like setting, conflict, and mood), compare and contrast, and symbolism/motifs. It's a good site if you want to find a unique fact or angle that other students don't know about.

3GradeSaver

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