What is the impact of racism in Faulkner's novel Absalom, Absalom?
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This comes to be the central theme of the "house" of Sutpen and the "house" of the South. According to the final and most complete Sutpen legend, Henry Sutpen killed Charles Bon and brought down his father's dynasty to prevent him from marrying Judith--not because Charles was their half-brother, but because Charles had a bit of black blood. This revelation makes it clear how the values of the South have affected not only Henry Sutpen, but also the narrator of the story, Quentin Compson. Faulkner leaves room for some ambiguity as to whether or not Charles Bon actually had black blood, thereby making it clear that the even the suggestion of black blood is enough to put someone in the South beyond the pale in a horribly destructive way. Race is a central theme in many Faulkner works, including his famed A Light in August. Faulkner recognizes that race is the central problem for the South in the post-Civil War period, and that without a healthy discussion of this topic, the South will never move forward.