As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner follows the Bundren family on their arduous journey to fulfill their dying mother's wish: to be buried with her family. Faulkner utilizes fifteen narrators, including Vardaman, the confused child, Addie, the dying mother, and objective characters such as the Tull family, to recount the details of the family's quest. Although death is a meaningful and somber topic, Faulkner reveals his opinion that death is an escape from the difficulties of life. Despite this grim subject matter, Faulkner uses irony and humor to effectively turn the novel into a dark comedy. Faulkner illustrates this dark humor through Addie's anticipation of her death, Anse's blatant ignorance toward his dying wife, and Vardaman's amusing confusion about death.
Being alive doesn’t necessarily mean one is living. It simply means to be in physical existing. To truly live is to have social impact or influence. Therefore to go through life as an outcast one may seem to be living within a stream of meaningless consciousness such as Addie and her son Darl Bundren in William Faulkner 's As I Lay Dying. Both characters merely exist right on the outskirts of the real world as they have no influence on the world around them. This fact is exemplified when the entire Bundren family goes upon an arduous three day journey to bury Addie 's corpse as according to her dying wish. Addie then begins to bound between existence and expiration. Meanwhile her logic-based son Darl struggles to compute how though Addie is dead she is the entire reason for the journey, showing influence from beyond the grave. Thus the Bundren family’s journey communicates the idea that one’s life cannot measured in length but in depth because one’s legacy will outlive one’s physical form from beyond the grave.
Faulkner creates the sense of autonomy in As I Lay Dying by using multiple symbols that revolve around the Bundrens. One of the most common symbols in As I Lay Dying is Addie’s coffin. According to critic Homer Pettey, her coffin is said to be the main reason and “the focus of the Bundrens' efforts, frustrations, and fixations”(3). Pettey repeats that Addie’s coffin is an object that causes the rest of the Bundren family exasperation and aggravation from its ability to throw the world into “absolute chaos”(8). Many times throughout the novel Addie’s coffin causes situations that cause the family to have great misfortunes. Addie’s coffin causes a huge misfortune when the Bundren’s ford a river and the current sweeps away the wagon, Addie’s coffin,
Jewel Bundren is almost as queer as his brother Darl. While Darl laughs and carries on Jewel, save for his infrequent expletive-laced outbursts is virtually mute throughout As I Lay Dying. Jewel and his mother Addie are the only characters in As I Lay Dying that don’t have much to say. They speak with their actions. And although Jewel does not speak frequently, he is an allegory for one of the most well-known orators and thinkers, Jesus Christ. Jewel Bundren is presented as a martyr and a Christ allegory in William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. However, unlike Christian martyrs Jewel is never rewarded for his sacrifice. Instead insufferable characters like Anse and Cora receive rewards. This discrepancy reveals that Faulkner believes that religion
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner In the excerpt from William Faulkner’s Southern novel, As I Lay Dying the author structures his novel through the use of literary features such as allusion, similes a belittling yet humorous tone, concrete imagery and a stream of consciousness style in the passage. Faulkner throughout the passage not only describes Cash’s reserved character and Darls perspective imagination but he also foreshadows the struggle the Bundren’s will go through as they prepare to go on the journey of burying Addie. First, Faulkner has the speaker Darl create a gloomy mood by using similes to display the ambiance in the room. Then Faulkner alludes to the bible and uses concrete imagery to illustrate both the surroundings and Cash’s concentration and determination as he makes his mother’s coffin.
In the novel, As I lay dying by William Faulkner, the Bundren family go through a mental journey of loss and death of their mother later to go on a physical journey to bury their mother. To the conclusion of any novel, many have an opinion on what is much happy or not a happy ending. In the case of the ending to As I lay dying, include no real burial of how the mother wanted, which was the point of the physical journey in the first place, secrets comes out, one of the five the siblings gets taken away, and many are left with unfinished business, was not a happy at all for most of the characters. The novel is narrated by 15 characters that are not all part of the Bundren family but in some way connected.
The Nobel prize speech by William Faulkner and novel, As I Lay Dying , both enhance how the author intends to fulfill his own vision of the writer’s duty. Faulkner’s duty is to encourage writers to focus on problems that deserve attention which are not introduced in other texts. The tone of the Nobel prize speech is assertive yet grasping around the idea of the future for literature. Through both sources, Faulkner speaks not only to the writers, but the individuals that can be empowered by his words and actions. In the Nobel prize speech, Faulkner is directly speaking to writers who have a desire to follow his footsteps, which is writing. Faulkner contends writers to write about real-life problems that happen in neighborhoods and families, especially the trouble coming from the heart.
William Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying follows the Bundren family on a journey while it explores the subject of heroism and discusses its subjectivity. The family travels on an expedition to bury Addie, the deceased mother of the protagonist, Darl Bundren, and his siblings. As days continue to pass, however, the journey seemed interminable. During the adventure, the family takes a stop at Gillespie’s barn for the evening. While they rest Darl sets the barn, in which the coffin sits, ablaze.
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner “She would tell me what I owed to my children and to Anse and to God. I gave Anse the children. I did not ask for them. I did not even ask him for what he could have given me: not-Anse. That was my duty to him, to not ask that, and that duty I fulfilled.
Throughout the novel, characters serve and give of themselves for each other in order to protect the ones they love. Darry makes these kind of sacrifices for his brothers. Later, Ponyboy, Johnny, and Dally risk their lives trying to save each other. The
Over the course of the novel, Faulkner explores existential behaviors and questions about the meaning of life and death, as well as trying to understand the purpose an individual has in an irrational world. Characters such as Darl, Addie, and Vardaman all convey existentialistic behavior leaving them to view the world from a different perspective than other characters such as Jewel. Throughout the novel, Addie, Darl, and Vardaman all act differently than Jewel due to their existentialist ideas. Although it is important to understand the world around us, if we become submerged into our own thoughts and try to understand the complex world around us, we might lose ourselves in the process.
Religion in As I Lay Dying The time and setting during which the novel was written are very important for understanding William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. This novel was written in 1930 Mississippi; during this time Mississippi was very religious. Unsurprisingly, Christianity and religion also plays a big role in As I Lay Dying particularly through imagery and symbolism that connects different characters to religious figures, including Jesus Christ.
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).
Hawthorne once said, “Deception may give us what we want for the present, but will later take it away in the end.” Thus being said, it is inevitable to portray the actions of deception toward others. Many adolescents today seek pleasure in this particular behavior. The continuous cycle occurs in asking oneself, “Why do we put others down in order to put ourselves up?” In the novel As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, selfishness and intentional dishonesty is intensely demonstrated throughout the characters. Readers are simply introduced to characters through only detailed and descriptive character traits. This enables readers to take a dive into the mind of each character to analyze different perspectives. The breakdown of these characters do result in their own parallel lives, yet the development of relationships between each other occur. In particular, Anse, Jewel, and Darl resemble these traits of misleading personalities.
Living creatures are not immortal, the fact that they are living automatically has death attached to their existence. Death looms over the human population taking many lives every day, not once failing. During the Holocaust, it came in the form of the Nazis, who used concentration camps as their factories of death. By the end of the Holocaust, 11 million were left dead by the Nazis, 6 million of them being Jewish. In the novel Night, Elie Wiesel presents an insider view of the horrific event and how death took form within it. As evidenced by the constant selections and hangings, death was always striking, but still had an air of mystery, with the Jews not fully knowing when they would be killed. Wiesel proves that mortality is simultaneously certain and uncertain by utilizing the deranged events Elie, the novel’s protagonist, faces in the Holocaust.