As I Lay Dying Character Analysis Essay

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In the words of Christopher Moore, “If you think anyone is sane you just don’t know enough about them.” In William Faulkner’s short story As I Lay Dying, Darl is one character whose actions are interpreted as signs of madness by his family and community. To the discerning reader, however, his actions reflected a deep situational understanding and contribute effectively to the story in its entirety. In As I Lay Dying, the storyline follows a dysfunctional family as they try to bring their dead mother to her burial site in a distant town, while on the way encountering various mishaps and struggles that nearly stop them multiple times. The mother, Addie, has five children, one of them being Darl. Darl exhibits strange behavior on multiple counts, which most of the characters take for madness. The most bizarre…show more content…
He demonstrates an ability of seeing beyond his surroundings and narrating the events of characters that is useful to get different perspectives of a scene and to better understand people’s intentions. He exercises this ability to ‘see’ the death of Addie while he is elsewhere doing a job. This ability allows the reader to get a better grasp on the characters emotions and intents. One example of this is when Darl has telekinetic communications with Dewey Dell discussing the death of their mother. Furthermore, due to the way the book was written Darl’s madness develops over the course of the story, so the reader is able to make their own opinions on his madness rather than stating it as a fact in the beginning of the story. Darl is an important part of As I Lay Dying, and it is clear his participation in the story is a key element in the story’s entertainment as well as literary value. Darl’s madness brings out qualities of the other characters that wouldn’t be noticeable otherwise, and he brings the story more complexity and depth through his clairvoyant

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