Absalom, Absalom! Ambition Quotes
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Immobile, bearded and hand palm-lifted the horseman sat; behind him the wild blacks and the captive architect huddled quietly, carrying in bloodless paradox the shovels and picks and axes of peaceful conquest. (1.1)
What an image! Here Sutpen arrives in town with his crew, bent on establishing his dynasty. To the townspeople, he presents a dramatic spectacle of determination and industry.
"Then he needed respectability, the shield of a virtuous woman, to make his position impregnable. (1.10)
Once Sutpen has established his homestead, he must legitimize himself in the eyes of the townspeople by marrying one of their own. He sets his sights on Ellen Coldfield, who will help him realize his dynasty by bearing his children. It's all part of his grand plan.
[H]e was at this time completely the slave of his secret and furious impatience. (2.2)
Sutpen conquers everyone who gets in his way, but he himself is a slave to his own ambitions and desires. And his eagerness to fulfill his design eventually does him in.