Analysis of Absolom Absolom

I believe that the Stupen experience embodied the sense of defeat that most southerners felt after the war. The basic ideals and spirit of southern life was destroyed by the war and never to be fully restored again. Their lives were turned upside down by the war and afterwards they did not even have the solace of their previous social status to return to. During the war many people were faced with unthinkable hardships on every level. The myth of the helpless southern woman was replaced by the image of an undying strong will to provide for and take care of her southern men. The women of high social standing were reduced to making their clothes out of used material instead of buying new fabrics and dresses, as they were accustomed to. Judith was even thought of as stealing the scraps of material that she used to make her wedding dress. Mrs. Rosa, Judith, and Clytemnestra all aged greatly during the war, they were forced to learn how to care for themselves completely with no help from a man to speak of. This quick aging left permanent scars on southern women I believe, before the war they were more childlike and helpless, dependent on their southern men. The war gave forced independence for the most part. Even after the war was over and the men returned home to their ruined homelands the help of women was needed to maintain vegetable gardens and such for food. Also with the abolition of slavery and the economic turmoil the women did not regain servants very easily and were depended upon to take a larger role in the care of the family. The women in Absalom, Absalom show this in the way they personally take care of Stupen. Rosa proves her new found complete independence in her rejection of Stupens insulting proposal, this shows how the life lessons made her more willing to live alone as she was once afraid of, rather than succumb to a mans desires. I think Faulkners portrayal of the evolution of the southern woman is interesting…

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