Absalom, Absalom

Human Drive Is Due to the Desire for Power: The Portrayal of Thomas Sutpen 12th Grade

A desire of power is one of the most robust drives of human beings. This desire promotes determination for achieving goals and ambitions. Determination and ambition are two essential forces to allow humans to find reason and purpose in their endeavors. The desire for power expresses in literature through the utilization of a plethora of literary devices. In Absalom! Absalom!, by William Faulkner, Thomas Sutpen’s drive for power can be seen through the symbolism, characterization, and imagery used throughout the novel.

At the beginning of the novel, Faulkner first introduces the wisteria vine, which plays a massive role of symbolism. The text states, “There was a wisteria vine blooming for the second time that summer…” (Faulkner 3). Wisteria vines are overwhelming plants that thrive and overtakes its surroundings. It appears in the novel when Miss Rosa or Quinten recall the past of Sutpen’s claim to power. It represents how his power is overwhelming and unpredicted. The blooming of the wisteria, just like Sutpen’s rise to power, can be interpreted as a negative and positive aspect.

Another idea that demonstrates the lust for power is the symbolism of migration to the West Indies. Sutpen realizes, “‘What I learned was that there...

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