by William Faulkner
Absalom, Absalom! Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
[…] the island here Sutpen's Hundred; the solitude, the shadow of the father with whom not only the town but their mother's family as well had merely assumed armistice rather than accepting and assimilating. (4.7)
Everyone in town is just kind of resigned to the idea of Sutpen. They understand that because of his wealth and determination he's not going away, so they decide to live with him. And to be honest, Sutpen doesn't really seem to care.
[…] where what few other people he knew lived in log cabins boiling with children like the one he was born in – men and grown boys who hunted or lay before the fire on the floor while the women and older girls stepped back and forth across them to reach the fire to cook, where the only colored people were Indians […] (6.3)
Flashing back to Sutpen's childhood, the story describes the modest surroundings in which Sutpen grew up. He didn't even experience classism (or racism) until he came down out of the hills of West Virginia. My how things change.
That's the way he got it. He had learned the difference not only between white men and black ones, but he was learning that there was a difference between white men and white men not to be measured by hitting anvils or gouging eyes or how much whiskey you could drink then get up and walk out of the room. (7.5)
In Jefferson, Sutpen gets a crash course in class differences. The things that made people "better" where he grew up – like being the strongest or the best fighter – just don't apply in this new world.