Thomas Sutpen

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Thomas Sutpen is the focal character of William Faulkner's 1936 novel Absalom, Absalom! Sutpen arrives in Faulkner's imaginary Yoknapatawpha County in Mississippi in the 1830s and establishes a 64,000 acre (100 square mile) plantation, Sutpen's Hundred, in an attempt to create his own personal dynasty. It is eventually revealed that Sutpen was born to a poor white family in what became West Virginia before moving to the Tidewater region of Virginia, where he was first privy to the aristocratic plantation culture of the Antebellum South.

William Faulkner American writer

William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner wrote novels, short stories, screenplays, poetry, essays, and a play. He is primarily known for his novels and short stories set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, based on Lafayette County, Mississippi, where he spent most of his life.

<i>Absalom, Absalom!</i> novel by William Faulkner

Absalom, Absalom! is a novel by the American author William Faulkner, first published in 1936. Taking place before, during, and after the Civil War, it is a story about three families of the American South, with a focus on the life of Thomas Sutpen.

Yoknapatawpha County

Yoknapatawpha County, pronounced is a fictional Mississippi county created by the American author William Faulkner, based upon and inspired by Lafayette County, Mississippi, and its county seat of Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner often referred to Yoknapatawpha County as "my apocryphal county".

When he was fourteen, running errands for his father, Sutpen was instructed by a black servant to use the back door of the plantation house. This led him to renounce his family and social position. He travelled to the West Indies to build his own plantation and start a lineage, in accordance with his "design". The discovery that his wife was part black, making his son Charles Bon part black, caused him to leave them behind and relocate to Yoknapatawpha County, where he built a new plantation. The sins of his past and his indiscriminate sexual practices eventually cause the downfall of his empire in the early 20th century.

The short story "Wash", which was later incorporated into the seventh chapter of Absalom, Absalom! , focuses on the death of Thomas Sutpen.

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