Absalom, Absalom

How the Southern Hierarchy "Others" Black Women in Literature: Absalom, Absalom!, "That Evening Sun Goes Down," and "Desiree's Baby" College

William Faulkner created Yokopatpua County to constitute a world in which his fictional stories/novels would take place and fit into the southern gothic genre. Within this town is tragedy, death, racism, gender role reversal, and a social hierarchy urging to be broken. Although he did not create this genre, his work certainly made it more noteworthy. Among this genre, other authors portray the real-life hardships of living in the deep south such as Kate Chopin, in the short story Desiree’s Baby. By examining Desiree’s Baby and comparing it Faulkner’s works such as That Evening Sun Goes Down and the novel Absalom, Absalom! one can see that racism is a distinguishing feature among this genre. Specifically, racism towards black women that features the sexualization of their bodies, and violence towards them. In an article in the New York Times by John Sullivan, they say that Faulkner sets up these storylines surrounding the civil war not to just make the story feel more authentically southern, but to add the intrinsic fixation of the south within the stories themselves. Sullivan says “No book that tries to dissect the South’s psyche like that can overlook its founding obsession: miscegenation.” (Sullivan.) From this, one can...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1002 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7824 literature essays, 2195 sample college application essays, 333 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in