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Themes

As is almost always the case in literature, the home in <em>Absalom, Absalom! </em>is about more than just having a roof over one's head. Many of the novel's characters are seeking both a place to live and a sense of belonging, a source of food and a source of support. Sutpen is under the mistaken impression that by building an enormous mansion he will create a feeling of home for himself. But because of his ego and misguided ambition, he is able to build a house but never creates a sense of home. The thing about a home is that it can never be destroyed: a house, on the other hand, most certainly can (and in this novel, most certainly is).

Questions About The Home

  1. What is the difference between a house and a home in the novel?
  2. How is Sutpen's house like a character in the story? How is it described?
  3. What are the positive and negative associations with houses in Absalom, Absalom!?
  4. Check out our discussion of "Houses" as a symbol. Do you agree with our interpretation? What might you add?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Homes serve many symbolic purposes in the novel, but it's never associated with domestic comfort.

The idea of the home is not a feminine one in this novel; it carries a very masculine implication.

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