Sutpen Plantation in Absalom, Absalom! (Location)

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Sutpen's Plantation
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Faulkner map
Other Texts Location Appears In: 

"Sutpen's Hundred" is the "biggest single" cotton plantation in antebellum Yoknapatawpha (56), "a hundred square miles of some of the best virgin bottom land in the country" (26). The novel follows the history of the place from its origins in the 1830s to its dissolution in the early 20th century. The "formal gardens" designed by a French architect (4) become "ruined and weed-choked flower beds" (108). The huge mansion - the "largest edifice" in the county, "bigger than the courthouse" (30), furnished with "crystal chandeliers" (33) and embellished with details like its "formal door beneath its fanlight imported pane by pane from Europe" (150) - "looms" at the end, "square and enormous, with jagged half-toppled chimneys" and a "sagging" roofline, "with a smell of desolation and decay as if the wood of which it was built were flesh" (293). As a plantation, it was originally worked by slaves; it is drastically reduced in size after the Civil War, when "a portion of the Sutpen plantation" is farmed "on shares" by Sutpen's own, unrecognized, grandson (169); still later the entire property "reverts to the state," and is "bought and sold and bought and sold again and again and again" (173). Other locations on the property - the garden, the arbor, the gate and drive, the stable, the slave quarters, the graveyard and the store Sutpen opens - have their own Location entries.

Site of Event
Built and Destroyed
Plantation; Plantation House