•  
  •  
 

Abstract

By using the opposing definitions of sex, male and female based on physical characteristics, as a framework, William Faulkner demonstrated the trauma of gender confusion for Absalom, Absalom!’s Rosa Coldfield. Coldfield’s role models required the expanded definitions of gender as defined by one’s social and behavioral traits, confusing Rosa’s understanding of herself in the sexual constructs of the Antebellum Southern United States. Coldfield allowed herself to believe that she could create a place for herself based on her confused understanding of sex and gender. Using traumatic texutality and repressed narrative, Faulkner transmits the impact of trauma directly to readers of Absalom, Absalom! through Rosa’s intimate experience with Thomas Sutpen.