Absalom, Absalom! Contrasting Regions: The South Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
[…] doggeries and taverns now become hamlets, hamlets now become villages, villages now towns and the country flattened out now with good roads and fields and niggers working in the fields while white men sat fine horses and watched them. (7.5)
When Sutpen's family leaves their remote home, Sutpen sees what the rest of the country is like for the first time. Towns are bigger, caste systems exist, and great wealth and privilege are in the hands of a few white men. And this is just the difference between West Virginia and Virginia.
Shreve, the Canadian, the child of blizzards and of cold in a bathrobe with an overcoat above it, the collar turned up about his ears; Quentin, the Southerner, the morose and delicate offspring of rain and steamy heat in the thin suitable clothing which he had brought from Mississippi […]. (8.22)
Shreve's fascination with the South stems in part from his Northern-ness. He has many preconceived notions about the South and – being the feisty guy he is – he imposes most of them on Quentin's interpretation of the events of Sutpen's life. Just like any good intellectual, he can weave a story out of nothing.