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.
Character Analysis in As I Lay Dying As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner has remained a fairly controversial and intriguing novel when it comes to analysis. It’s “stream of consciousness” style, extensive amount of narrators, and fragmented format leave much available for differing analysis. With the overwhelming amount of narrators comes several pivotal characters. In turn, investigating characterization becomes a popular form of analysis for this work.
Porter’s and Faulkner’s stories both share the same theme of hopelessness. Each story begins with a situation that seems very hopeless in terms of reviving in any way. Porter’s story begins with poor
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. Darl Bundren’s act of arson exhibits heroism because he performed the act for the sake of others. Faulkner uses irony to subvert the preconceived notions of heroism. Although the protagonist was sent to a mental institute at the end of the novel for
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.
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.
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,
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 “A Rose for Emily,” the author, Faulkner, describes the life of a women after the death of her family and the abandonment of her friends. The story is about a female named Emily whose father dies of natural causes, and she is left with little money except for her house and an African American manservant. The manservant is a very loyal person who stays by Emily’s side till her own death. This story is depicted from the neighbor’s point about the lady Emily. It recounts her life as she lived it from an external perspective.
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.
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).
William Faulkner had a faith in humanity that few possess. In his 1950 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, he proclaimed that, “man will not merely endure: he will prevail”. He felt humans contained a certain compassion in our spirits, which is very valuable. Faulkner views America as a place where people often have more compassion or intelligence than they let on, especially in the rural areas. Everyone is capable of having these traits, but not everyone uses them. Humanity will still prevail in America because there are enough people with that compassionate spirit of endurance and sacrifice. In As I Lay Dying, Jewel and Darl are two characters who exemplify this, but in different ways.
The early nineteenth century is well-known for originating a selection of authors known as the “lost generation”. One of these authors, Ernest Hemingway, is held in high regard today for his authentic stories. His novel, A Farewell to Arms, is an honest depiction of what war is like and is still being read to this day. Another author of the time, though not considered a member of the “lost generation”, is William Faulkner. Faulkner is remembered for his unique writing style, especially in his book, As I Lay Dying.
William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” critiques the American South Describing Emily’s vibrant life full of hope and buoyancy, later shrouded into the profound mystery, Faulkner emphasizes her denial to accept the concept of death. William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” takes place in the South during the transitional time period from the racial discrimination to the core political change of racial equality. Starting from the description of her death, “A Rose for Emily” tells the story about the lady who is the last in her generation (Emily Grierson). Being strong, proud and a traditional lady of southern aristocracy, Emily turns into an evil, unpredictable and mysterious old lady after the death of her father. Even though “A Rose for Emily”
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.