Alienation In William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

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During the Modernism Era (1914-1945) many Americans still lived outside of civilization. These families such as the one depicted in “As I Lay Dying” (1930), by William Faulkner, experienced a form of alienation. They were like outsiders since many of the family members would rarely go into town other than to pick up supplies, sell goods, or get a haircut and shave, such as the character Darl “He has been to town this week: the back of his neck is trimmed close, with a white line between hair and sunburn like a joint if white bone.” (page. 711) This isolation lead the new theme that is now commonly associated with Modernist works called Fragmentation. Fragmentation is a form of writing opposite of the Realist and Naturalist eras that encompasses modernisms search for new and influential forms of writing that help the read take a new first person perspective on each character as they were coming into play during the story. For instance, the story starts from the perspective of Darl, and then transitions to Cora, and so on, and so on, throughout the story. Liam C. Butchart analyzes this style in greater detail.…show more content…
For Faulkner, every part of the book has meaning…. In As I Lay Dying, he deliberately decided to emphasize and display the characters' minds, begging the question of what is hidden there and why - which is what this essay tries to
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