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Absalom, Absalom! | Chapter Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • 1827

    Thomas Sutpen marries Eulalia Bon in the West Indies.

    Chapter 7
  • 1831

    Sutpen and Eulalia have a son, Charles Bon.

    Chapter 7
  • 1833

    Sutpen arrives in Mississippi, buys land (Supten's Hundred), and builds a mansion.

    Chapter 1
  • 1838

    Sutpen marries Ellen Coldfield.

    Chapter 1
  • 1839

    Supten and Ellen have a son, Henry Sutpen.

    Chapter 1
  • 1841

    Supten and Ellen have a daughter, Judith Sutpen.

    Chapter 1
  • 1859

    Henry Sutpen meets Charles Bon at college.

    Chapter 4
  • Christmas 1860

    Sutpen tells Henry that Charles Bon is his brother.

    Chapter 3
  • 1861–1865

    Sutpen, Henry, and Charles Bon fight in the Civil War.

    Chapter 3
  • During the Civil War

    Sutpen tells Henry that Charles Bon is black.

    Chapter 7
  • 1863

    Ellen dies.

    Chapter 1
  • 1865

    Henry kills Charles Bon at the mansion gates.

    Chapter 5
  • 1866

    Sutpen proposes to Rosa and insults her; she leaves.

    Chapter 6
  • 1869

    Milly bears Sutpen a daughter, whom he rejects insultingly.

    Chapter 7
  • Moments later

    Wash Jones kills Sutpen.

    Chapter 7
  • 1871

    12-year-old Charles Etienne Bon comes to live at the plantation.

    Chapter 6
  • 1882

    Jim Bond is born to Charles Etienne and his wife.

    Chapter 6
  • 1884

    Judith and Charles Etienne die of yellow fever.

    Chapter 6
  • September 1909

    Miss Rosa and Quentin find Henry in the mansion.

    Chapter 9
  • December 1909

    Sutpen's mansion is burned down with Henry in it; Jim Bond lives in the woods of Sutpen's Hundred.

    Chapter 9

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 In September 1909 Miss Rosa Coldfield summons young Quentin Compson to her "airless" and "shuttered" home to tell him wh... Read More
Chapter 2 Chapter 2 occurs later on the same day as Chapter 1, after Quentin has returned from Miss Rosa's. The chapter is told bo... Read More
Chapter 3 Chapter 3 is again narrated by Mr. Compson, who is speaking to his son Quentin later the same afternoon. He mainly relat... Read More
Chapter 4 Quentin waits for night to fall before returning to Miss Rosa's house. He pictures the dark, grim place and the woman wh... Read More
Chapter 5 This chapter is narrated by Miss Rosa as she describes what happened after Wash Jones fetched her to Sutpen's Hundred. S... Read More
Chapter 6 Chapters 6–9 take place in January 1910 at Harvard College in Massachusetts, in the room shared by Quentin and his roomm... Read More
Chapter 7 Chapter 7 takes place in the cold room where Quentin and Shreve are talking together at Harvard College. Shreve is fasci... Read More
Chapter 8 The frame narrative in Chapter 8 again becomes somewhat unstable. Quentin and Shreve conjure up in their minds, or ident... Read More
Chapter 9 Quentin lies trembling in his ice-cold room at Harvard, perhaps more from emotional exhaustion than the cold. Shreve, th... Read More
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