Women In William Faulkner's Absalom !

Good Essays
William Faulkner’s literary classic, Absalom, Absalom! is, to say the least, a beautifully complex story of the south told through the interwoven narrative of many different narrators. What makes this great, American novel so commendable is not only how Faulkner tells the story, but the complicated characters he creates within it. There are very few authors who have mastered the complexity of women, and the juxtaposition between what is said about them, and what the truth is, quite like Faulkner. Women play a special role in the novel’s epic tale, for, although the men see them as objects, they offer unique insights throughout the novel, and are an integral part of the action that drives the narrative. At first glance, Absalom, Absalom! seems to portray women as nothing more than objects that are meant to be used as a means of getting something. For example, Thomas Sutpen is only interested in marrying Ellen Coldfield because of her father’s good reputation in the town. He knew that as a stranger, and a relatively disliked stranger at that, he had to marry the daughter of a man who held a lot of respect in the town to gain respect …show more content…
is a superbly written novel that juxtaposes the role of women in a complex, and surprising fashion. At a glance, women in the novel seem to be written as nothing more than objects for the men, but upon further inspection it is clear that the women have more power in the novel than first perceived. Faulkner allows the women of his novel to silently shape the actions of other characters and the views of the reader by giving the women in the town the power to declare who is an outcast and who is not, as they did with Thomas Sutpen, as well as by having much of the novel narrated through a woman’s point of view. Absalom, Absalom! is by no means the perfect example of the perfect southern, feminist, narrative of the twentieth century, however it does give a unique insight and complexity to women that most novels do

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    The way they present themselves has a positive impact on how men react to them. Ironically, it is the women who is submissive to men in order to get into their circle, but is also the men in the end who becomes submissive to what women ultimately want in these stories. Both novels, however, examine the role of women and their authority over men in society; eventually, Shahrazad and Alysoun differ from each other, Shahrazad uses her ability of storytelling to save herself and other women from Shahriyar’s deranged murders, whereas Alysoun uses her helplessness in order to achieve supreme authority over her fifth husband. In The Thousand…

    • 1463 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    They are not obligated to do anything, but they still bow down to them. Sandra Cisneros, the author, really clarifies the different type of ways women portray themsleves and how their actions lead to men abusing them in the novel. Women are constantly influencing the main character, Esperanza, into thinking the only way to get through life is by having a man support and take over. Esperanza at first, believes what they say but towards the end of the novel we encounter her true character. Espreanza notices that the beautiful women in the novel are often the ones who suffer the most at the hands of men.…

    • 1343 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Wickham as well was another unholy marriage which Jane Austen despised, and ultimately she describes it as leading to the same melancholy marriage as that of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. This marriage, however, was not initiated in order to please societal norms and expectations, and in fact it went entirely against societal norms as it was made out of lust. The young, wild Lydia Bennet had stumbled upon the attractive young men of the military throughout her ramblings throughout the village of Meryton, and ultimately met the symbol of lust and desire itself, Mr. Wickham. Mr. Wickham had continually been supported by the father of Mr. Darcy, but continually wasted the money on useless expenditures such as lavish parties and alcohol, and thereby surmounted a vast debt similar to that of Mr. Bennet’s. However, few knew about this, and Lydia especially is blind to his debts and misdeeds.…

    • 841 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The difference between Desdemona and Cordelia are most prominent due to Desdemona’s problems surround Othello, her husband, and Cordelia’s surround her father. The ability she shows to separate different kinds of affection will make Desdemona seek, without hesitation, to help Cassio, thereby unknowingly fueling Othello’s jealousy. Desdemona shows throughout the play her strength and conviction. She understands all of the strains that have been placed on her various relationships and still holds true to her values. She begins the play as a notably independent person, but then midway through she must struggle against all odds to convince Othello that she is not too independent.…

    • 1436 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Feminism In Frankenstein

    • 2264 Words
    • 10 Pages

    It can be argued that Shelley may have had more motives for doing this than the reader can comprehend. Overall, one intention is clear. By objectifying all women throughout the novel, this conveys to the reader how, despite whether one fits into a patriarchal stereotype or not, this does not make them resistant to male…

    • 2264 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Height’s conveys concerns of social traditions, especially those encompassing issues of sexual orientation:the author disseminates ‘feminine’ and ‘musculine’ characteristics without respect to sex. Brontë experienced issues living in society while staying consistent genuine with the concerns she considered important:the idea of women as delicate beings who maintain a strategic distance from physical or mental activity and seek fashions and romance was offensive to her. Class issues are additionally essential, one will undoubtedly regard Ellen, who is educated however of a low class, more than most women of the Victorian Era. Similarly, D.H. Lawrence was a poet, novelist and a painter who is renowned for his customary…

    • 918 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Chopin was no doubt, a writer who was far ahead of her time. She dealt with a huge portion of these in her everyday life and made a point to not hide or conform to the stereotypical woman’s role. While many women fulfilled their "responsibilities", Chopin responded to this attempt to define and limit their roles with her own literature and work in the feminist movement. Chopin constantly withstood severe criticism by male critics for her themes and ideas of marriage, feminism and suicide in her novel “The Awakening”. The male critics found this novel controversial since one of the female characters has two lovers, which the critics considered as completely unethical for a woman to do.…

    • 575 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    During the Victorian era in England, certain undeniable gender stereotypes existed that favored men; they often prevented women from achieving a true state of equality. However, Collins boldly tore down these figurative walls that governed society, and his female characters set the standard for the literary depiction of women. In The Moonstone, Collins’s female characters often served as main characters with bold and intellectual personalities, at times superior than their male counterparts. This practice which was extremely unorthodox at the time. Collins portrays Rachel to be a strong-willed, independent woman who uses logic and reasoning to help in the investigation, while maintaining her composure amidst the theft of her priceless possession.…

    • 1063 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Feminism In Gone Girl

    • 761 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Gone girl is based on the novel by woman writer Gillian Flynn thus it is basically inevitable for the author to place her expectation on Amy. The toughness and intelligence of her is an attraction to the audience of the same gender although she has been built by the author as a bitch obviously. On the other hand, from a male’s angle, David Finch infused a sense of wicked black humor into some scenarios as a mockery to Amy’s egotism. The story is presented mostly from Nick 's perspective in the film in order to increase sympathy for him. Dockterman (2014) points out Gone Girl is both “a sexist portrayal of a crazy woman” and a “feminist manifesto.” Therefore, it leads to an interesting question—— is Gone Girl feminist or misogynist?…

    • 761 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Her whole novel is a commentary on the patriarchal society she grew up in, where money and social class determined success, and a woman was no one without a wealthy man by her side. Even though Jane, Elizabeth and Lydia all end up with a man at their side, they make the choice according to their own standards rather than society’s. Lydia marries Wickham because she simply wants to be married, not for his wealth or social status. Jane and Elizabeth marry for love, and uncoincidentally, emerge with the more sought after positions in society. Elizabeth’s ending symbolizes the happiness and freedom that comes with being yourself and not conforming to oppressive standards.…

    • 1280 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays