Dramatic Downfall In William Faulkner's Absalom

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There is no better association of the events that take place in Absalom than what happens on the stage of a theatre. Faulkner compares the collapse of the American South to a theatre of violence, injustice, bloodshed “and all the satanic lusts of human greed and cruelty” (207). Sutpen’s legend can be performed on stage and the main actor is the white race which tries to dominate, seal, and subtle the voice of the black race. Joseph W. Reed argues that Thomas Sutpen’s dramatic downfall reaches “melodramatic theatrical trappings, an artificial excess,” the composition of the novel and the selection of chapters, parts, delayed information and the manipulation of Quentin and Shreve of the dramatic scenes as well as the main actors of the play resemble very much what happens on the stage (175). Similarly, the tragedy that befalls Sutpen and …show more content…
Compson is another narrator who participates in weaving and dissolving the carnivalesque voices of the story. He recalls what his father -Sutpen’s only friend- who has told him other parts of the tale. While narrating to his son Quentin, Mr. Compson attempts to find an interpretation for the tragic events that have befallen this family. Mr. Compson thinks that the presence of an octoroon in Charles Bon’s life is the reason of Sutpen’s opposition to the marriage. This interpretation sounds satisfactory since Sutpen has already revealed to Mr. Compson’s father that he abandoned his first wife when he discovers her negro blood. Mr. Compson believes that Sutpen does not want his daughter to suffer the same story of her father. The Canadian Shreve provides another interpretation when he imagines a dialogue between Henry and his half-brother Charles Bon “So it’s miscegenation, not the incest, which you cant bear. Henry doesn’t answer” (293). The reason for murdering Charles Bon might be to prevent mixing blood of his white sister and this part-negro who cannot be qualified a legitimate husband according to the American Southern

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