Absalom, Absalom! Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
No, not even a gentleman. Marrying Ellen or marrying ten thousand Ellens could not have made him one. Not that he even wanted to be one, or even be taken for one. No. That was not necessary since all he would need would be Ellen's and our father's names on the wedding license. (1.11)
So much for climbing your way up the social ladder. As Miss Rosa explains, Sutpen could never become a person with class or real prominence. His humble origins and questionable business practices make a far greater impression than his ability to marry into one of the town's leading families.
So they sat on their horses and waited for him. I suppose they knew that he would have to come out sometime. I suppose they sat there and thought about those two pistols. Because there was still no warrant for him, you see: it was just public opinion in an acute state of indigestion. (2.14)
The entire town is suspect of Sutpen's business methods. They believe he has engaged in dishonest dealings with American Indians in order to get his land. This guy seems to have no regard for the way things are done in Yoknapatawpha County – he just wants property, and fast.
He was not liked (which he evidently did not want, anyway) but feared, which seemed to amuse, if not actually please, him. But he was accepted; he obviously had too much money now to be rejected or even seriously annoyed any more (2.11).
Whether or not the townspeople like him, Sutpen is determined to strike it rich.