20th Cent American Prose

Pick one and the write 3 pages
1) Judging from Absalom, Absalom! (and anything else you have read by Faulkner), what is the relationship of the Modernist landscape of Yoknapatawpha County to the transcendent value systems of the past? (How, for example, do the multiple “narrators” of the Sutpen story relate to that system?)

2) In another Faulkner work, Requiem for a Nun, Gavin Stevens says, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Discuss the importance of the past and how it impinges upon the present/future in Absalom, Absalom! How is the relationship to the past (especially in the South) part of a “shared memory”? How does Absalom, Absalom! contemplate how that memory is shaped and shared?

3) Discuss the presentation of women in Tender Is the Night. How does this presentation reinforce certain ideas of Dick’s decline?

4) One of the major differences between Romanticism and Modernism is the relationship of the past and present (and, hence, future). Would you consider Tender Is the Night to be a novel that addresses this issue? Discuss.

Sample Solution