Absalom, Absalom! | Study Guide

William Faulkner

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Absalom, Absalom! | Characters

Character Description
Thomas Sutpen Thomas Sutpen is an ambitious man who buys 100 square miles of land, builds a mansion, and starts a family in 1830's Mississippi. Read More
Ellen Sutpen Ellen (Coldfield) Sutpen is the emotionally starved and almost ghostly wife of Thomas Sutpen and the mother of his white son and daughter. Read More
Judith Sutpen Judith Sutpen is the strong-willed but obedient white daughter of Ellen and Thomas Sutpen. Read More
Henry Sutpen Henry Sutpen is the rather weak and straight-laced white son and heir of Thomas Sutpen and Ellen. He becomes a close friend to Charles Bon. Read More
Miss Rosa Coldfield Miss Rosa Coldfield is one of the novel's primary narrators; she relates her story to Quentin. She is the fiercely vengeful but prim daughter of Goodhue Coldfield and the sister of Ellen Sutpen. She harbors an intense hatred for Thomas Sutpen. Read More
Charles Bon Charles Bon is the sophisticated and elegant part-black son of Thomas Sutpen and Eulalia, his first wife in the West Indies. Bon lived in New Orleans, and he became a close friend of Henry and the fiancé of Judith. Read More
Quentin Compson Quentin, along with Shreve, narrates the second half of the novel. A Southern young man heavily burdened by the "cursed" history of the Sutpen family, he is a student at Harvard College. Read More
The aunt The aunt, who is never named, raised Rosa from childhood. We learn mainly she was cold, strict, and distant to Rosa, whom she blamed for causing her mother's death in childbirth.
Charles Etienne de St. Valery Bon The son of Charles Bon and his octoroon mistress, Charles Etienne de St. Valery Bon leads a tortured life because of his mixed race.
Jim Bond Jim Bond is the son of Charles Etienne (Bon) and his dark-skinned black wife.
Clytie Clytie (Clytemnestra Sutpen) is the daughter of Thomas Sutpen and a black slave.
Goodhue Coldfield Goodhue Coldfield is a puritanical Methodist minister and the father of Miss Rosa and Ellen Sutpen.
General Compson Quentin's grandfather, General Compson, is Thomas Sutpen's closest friend in Mississippi.
Mr. Compson Quentin's father, Mr. Compson, tells much of the story as he heard it from his father, the general.
Milly Jones Milly Jones is the granddaughter of Wash Jones, mother to an illegitimate daughter of Thomas Sutpen.
Wash Jones Wash Jones is a lower-class white squatter and helper on the Sutpen plantation.
Shreve McCannon Shreve (Shrevelin) McCannon is a Canadian student at Harvard, fascinated by Southern history as told to him by Quentin, his college roommate.
Unnamed octoroon The unnamed octoroon is a mistress of Charles Bon in New Orleans and mother of his son Charles Etienne.
Eulalia Bon Sutpen Eulalia Bon Sutpen is Thomas Sutpen's first wife, whom he married in the West Indies. She is part black and the mother of Charles Bon.
Unnamed infant The unnamed infant is the illegitimate daughter born to Milly Bond and Thomas Sutpen.
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