The earliest work, Absalom, appeared during a time described as post-memory trauma; through living witnesses, the narration of the past connects and claims characters of the present. The past weighs heavily on the present and no one can escape the horrors and cruelty of Thomas Sutpen, the unknown patriarch around whom the novel is centered.
The notion of the past is tied up with the crises that the various characters experienced. The past bears down very strongly on the present, and no one can escape Sutpen's influence. In the decades following the rise of the New South from the ruins of Civil War, Faulkner illustrates the absurdity of prior magnificence in Sutpen’s desire for a grand family legacy. The only surviving heir to his contrived empire is Jim Bond, the mentally challenged grandson of Charles Bon. As the United States continued to find its identity the pre-world war two decades, the publication of Absalom illustrates the irony and absurdity of once great wealthy Southern families; pretenses of family lineage and past grandeur have expose the reality racial indifferences in the South of Faulkner’s time. The idiocy of Jim Bond as only surviving Sutpen represents the senselessness of the South’s inability to engage in the modern world. Jim Bond fulfills the role of grounds caretaker of Supten’s Hundred when Quentin visits in 1909. Dislocation and homelessness haunt the reader as Jim Bond wails of the fire which finally destroys the Sutpen plantation. “Jim Bond, the scion, the last of his race, seeing it too now and howling with human reason now since now even he could have known what he was howling about (p. 300).” His cry, however, develops from more than just the loss of a house; this mulatto descent of Thomas Sutpen reverberates the agony of annihilation of coherent ideals of home, family and nation.
Composed of white and black lineage Jim Bond reveals the diverse cultural and historical terrains between West Virginia, Africa, Haiti, New Orleans, Africa and mythical Yoknapatawpha County of Mississippi. With no identity, Jim Bond diverts attention to twentieth century American politics in which the boundaries of race, nation and identify are blurred and can quickly crumble. As the novel closes, the reader is left with the images of a devastating fire and nightmarish wails of Jim Bond described as ghostlike and insubstantial with