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, 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).
Throughout one’s life, one tends to adapt to the traditions of their family, and gain a significant bond with their loved ones, including their siblings. However, that connection a person gains can either be diminished or forgotten due to a sense of different mindsets between family members. The two stories “The Rich Brother” by Tobias Wolff and “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin indicate that sibling rivalry occurs when each member does not understand or acknowledge their sibling’s perspective, and this builds a wall barrier between the siblings.
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.
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.
Faulkner composites a family that is far away from perfect, instead the family members each face a tribulation that connects to the death their mother. With the supporting passages Faulkner demonstrates how the novel, As I Lay Dying fulfill his own vision of the writer’s duty, which is to express the problems by appealing to pathos, introducing relatable problems, and discussing family dynamics. Faulkner fulfills the writer’s duty by introducing problems the writers can relate to. Faulkner inspires readers to write about, “problems of the human heart... with itself which can make good writing...because that is only worth the sweat agony” (Faulkner 14-15).
Betrayal is defined as, “an act of deliberate disloyalty" (vocabulary.com). In William Faulkner’s book, As I Lay Dying, there is a lot of betrayal between the Bundren family. From, Addie having an affair to most of her family travelling to Jefferson for selfish reasons. The Bundren family is a lying and selfish family. Most of the characters betray Addie specifically in many ways.
In the novel As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner portrayed the female characters as people who are always subjected by men and face numerous struggles of the everyday, rural, Southern woman in the 1930s. The three main female characters of the book are Cora, Dewey Dell Bundren, and Addie Bundren. Their lives are harder than men due to being repressed by the masculine-ruled society at the time. Both Dewey Dell and Cora resign themselves to their faith, but Addie broke the social norms of this era and paved her path by doing so.
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.
In Love and In Death William Faulkner’s short story “A Rose for Emily”, centers around a reclusive woman named Emily Grierson who is the protagonist of this story. Emily lives in Jefferson, Mississippi with her strict and over protective father who turns away any male suitor who shows any interest in her as he believes them to be unfit for his daughter. Emily and her father are regarded as upper-class southerners who live in a very nice home. The townspeople see Emily as a mysterious individual, often pitting her.
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.
In Sanity Insanity takes on different forms. Some harm themselves or are a danger to others. Darl Bundren, however, is declared insane because he thinks differently from his family. Darl serves as the primary narrator in William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, a story of one dysfunctional family’s journey through the Mississippi countryside to the town of Jefferson to bury their matriarch.
‘He probably began to see me as a series of dos and don’ts’ (Page 265) Alice feels that her relationship with her parents impacts her relationships with others and this is again seen as a barrier her culture creates. ‘Don’t you feel frustrated sometimes?’ (Page 239) Alice observes the views Michael has of her relationship and she sees it to be different.
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.