"All dressed up and mooning around like the prologue to a suttee"
Suttee
Public DomainSuttee - Credit: James Atkinson

A suttee is a former Indian practice which involved a widow immolating herself on her husband’s funeral pyre. This was supposed to expiate the couple’s sins and ensure that they would be together in the afterlife, though it also reflected women's low social status. It was banned under British rule in 1829.

 

Though Faulkner refuses to limit Quentin’s suicide by tying it to any definite motivation, the idea of suttee suggests it is, to some extent, an attempt to regain Caddy and to sacrifice himself for the values she has destroyed.

 

 

 

 

A Hindoo Widow Burning Herself with the Corpse of her Husband
Public DomainA Hindoo Widow Burning Herself with the Corpse of her Husband - Credit: Frederic Shoberl