© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Absalom, Absalom!

Absalom, Absalom!


by William Faulkner

Absalom, Absalom! Race Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #7

And your grandfather did not know either just which one of them it was who told them he was, must be a negro, who could neither have heard nor recognized the word "nigger," who even had no word for it in the tongue he knew […]. (6.31)

Charles Bon's son, Charles Etienne de Saint-Valery Bon (say that three times fast!), is part black and the only living heir to the Sutpen dynasty. Sutpen clearly would not have been pleased.

Quote #8

And even then I did not act hastily. I could have reminded them of these wasted years, these years which would now leave me behind with my schedule not only the amount of elapsed time which their number represented, but that compensatory amount of time represented by their number which I should now have to spend to advance myself once more to the point I had reached and lost (7.26).

Shreve and Quentin speculate about the story Sutpen told General Compson. They imagine the setback Sutpen must have felt when he discovered that his wife from the West Indies was black and he would have to start building his dynasty all over again. To give up everything he had worked for – it's clear that he has some pretty strong feelings about this.

Quote #9

But they would drink together under the scuppernong on the Sunday afternoons, and on the week days he would see Sutpen (the fine figure of the man as he called it) on the black stallion, galloping around the plantation, and Father said how for that moment Wash's heart would be quiet and proud both and that maybe it would seem to him that this world where niggers, that the Bible said had been created and cursed by God to be brute and vassal to all men of white skin […]. (7.44)

Wash Jones looks up to Sutpen as the successful white plantation owner. He is proud to be associated with him and believes himself to be above the black slaves, because that's what he read in the Bible. Speaking of the Bible, what was that about "Thou shalt not kill"?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...