Study Guide

Judith Sutpen in Absalom, Absalom!

By William Faulkner

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Judith Sutpen

Judith is a shallow but headstrong woman. She loves the trappings of wealth and the power she gets from being the daughter of Thomas Sutpen. Really, can we blame her?

But as willful as she is, her life is not without tragedy. Surprise, surprise – a tragic Faulkner character! (That's sarcasm, in case you didn't get it). When she falls in love with Charles Bon, she has to wait four years for her wedding day. Because of wartime deprivation, she puts together a wedding dress from various scraps of fabric that her sister pilfers from their father's general store. And after all that, her brother goes and shoots her fiancé and dumps the body at her feet. That's about as far from a happily-ever-after as you can get.

Oh wait, there's more: she ends up dying of yellow fever while trying to nurse her dead ex-fiancé's part-black son back to health from the same disease. Okay, now that's as far away as you can get.

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