Thomas Sutpen rode out of a mysterious past into Jefferson, Mississippi in 1833. He purchased 100 acres, set about clearing the land and building a mansion, and proceeded with a plan for order and security that would end in the ruination of many lives. Secrets, betrayals, and violence would be the undoing of almost everyone involved. But the truth is inaccessible to almost everyone involved because it must be pieced together from partial knowledge by several different parties, including young Quentin Compson, who reconstructs what might have happened and tells the story to his college roommate in 1910 (and who, we know from _The Sound and the Fury_, is not long for this world at that point). Faulkner's metaphoric depiction of the Fall of the South pits the false order of possession (of land, women, slaves, children, a "sure" design for one's future) against the order of knowledge and understanding, and critiques the nature of history through a majestic and tragic plot.
This report prepared by David Loftus