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Absalom, Absalom!

Absalom, Absalom!


by William Faulkner

Absalom, Absalom! Race Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

"Out of quiet thunderclap he would abrupt (man-horse-demon) upon a scene peaceful and decorous as a schoolprize water color, faint, sulphur-reek still in hair clothes and beard, with grouped behind him his band of wild niggers like beasts half tamed to walk upright like men, in attitudes wild and reposed […]." (1.1)

Sutpen's arrival in Yoknapatawpha County is almost like something out of a nightmare as Miss Rosa describes it here to Quentin. Sutpen comes out of nowhere, like a satanic figure surrounded by semi-humans enslaved to do his bidding. Already we can see the oh-so-racist language that's everywhere in this book.

Quote #2

"[…] down there in the stable a hollow square of faces in the lantern light, the white faces on three sides, the black ones on the fourth, and in the center two of his wild negroes fighting, naked, fighting not like white men, with rules and weapons, but like negroes fight to hurt one another quick and bad." (1.26)

Sutpen pits his slaves against each other as a spectacle for those who live at Sutpen's Hundred. These fights are absolutely brutal, and sometimes Sutpen even joins in.

Quote #3

"[…] it was told how even that first summer and fall the negroes did not even have (or did not use) blankets to sleep in." (2.4)

The slaves who build Sutpen's Hundred are treated like animals. They are simply a means for him to build his dynasty and nothing more. How do you think young Sutpen would have reacted to this?

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