Addie's Voice In As I Lay Dying

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In the novel, As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner shapes the plot based on the looming presence of the absentee protagonist, Addie Bundren. The reader’s knowledge of Addie accumulates through the monologues of other characters, so the reader gains only bits and pieces of Addie’s character. However, after her death, the reader obtains a better understanding of Addie’s voice through her own monologue and as a result, is characterized as cold and selfish. Through the use of similes and interior monologue, Faulkner shows Addie’s tendency to detach herself from the people in her life, which relates to the novel’s overall theme of solitude as Addie adheres to her father’s philosophy that the reason for living is no more than “to get ready to stay dead a long time” (169). Addie’s chapter takes place from the grave, so as a dead person, she reflected upon her relationships during her life. While she spoke about her relationships with family members and others in her life, she seemed to be primarily focussed on the aspect of herself that she values most: her aloneness. For example, when Addie looked back to the birth of her first child, she seemed unhappy claiming, “My aloneness had been violated” (172). To Addie, it…show more content…
Addie’s ideas are very raw, so that the reader understands that what Addie says is an accurate representation of how she feels. In this particular interior monologue, Addie explains the stress that other characters put on her, which contributes to the reason why she chooses to stay away from others. The interior monologue shows that Anse affected Addie’s self-image dramatically, because of Addie’s inability to remember life before him, “The shape of my body where I used to be a virgin is in the shape of a ” (173). The blank represents Addie “drawing a blank” or forgetting what life used to be like when she was still a
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