© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Absalom, Absalom!

Absalom, Absalom!


by William Faulkner

 Table of Contents

Absalom, Absalom! Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Biblical Allegory of Absalom

Since it's in the title (twice!), we couldn't leave this one out. To hear our take on the biblical allegory, check out "What's Up With the Title?"

Haunting, Curses, and Ghosts (Oh My!)

The past weighs heavily on all the characters in Absalom, Absalom! and acts as a prominent image throughout the novel. Characters have unresolved issues, unanswered questions, and deep resentment a...


There are many voices, opinions, narrative perspectives, and versions of the truth in the novel. (That's why it's so stinkin' hard to read.) The storytelling is fragmented, and the voices reflect t...

Civil War

Some critics suggest that Faulkner used the Civil War as a backdrop to the novel in order to reflect the idea of domestic conflict. The war between the North and the South is played out on a more p...


There sure are a lot of important houses in Absalom, Absalom!. We've got everything from big plantation mansions to small cabins to prison-like houses. Who gets to enter a house, and through which...


Smells are very important in the novel, and they often evoke the past. Wisteria is a very Southern vine, and its smell is associated in the novel with Miss Rosa, who is obsessed with the past. When...


Imagery of royalty runs throughout the novel. Faulkner compares Sutpen's "design" to the attitude of a king, suggesting his outsized sense of entitlement. Sutpen clearly seeks to run Sutpen's Hundr...

Heroic Imagery

Sutpen is a hero, through and through. Or at least that's how he's described: heck, even people who hate his guts (we're looking at you, Rosa!) use heroic terms to talk about him. Legendary figures...

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Noodle's College Search
Noodle's College Search