As I Lay Dying Theme

899 Words4 Pages
Dear members of the board, As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner, is a novel that should be read at some point in one’s lifetime. The themes in the novel are relatable to all and even transcend Faulkner's era; however, the language may not be entirely suitable to all. The story follows the Bundren family and the impending death of Addie Bundren: wife, mother, and friend, who is very ill and is expected to die soon. Her oldest son, Cash, utilizes his carpentry skills to build her a coffin and her only daughter, Dewey Dell, had intimate relations with a farmhand she knew resulting in an unwanted pregnancy. She is so overwhelmed by her state that she barely mourns her mother when she finally passes away. Before Addie died, she made Anse, her husband, promise to bury her in the town of Jefferson. Anse was compelled to fulfill Addie’s…show more content…
On the first night of their journey, due to severe flooding, the main bridges over the river have been flooded or washed away, and the Bundrens are forced to turn around. While in the river, a stray log bumps into their wagon, the coffin is knocked out, Cash’s previously broken leg is broken again, and the team of mules drowns. Addie’s point of view returns to recount the events of her life: her loveless marriage to Anse; her affair with the minister which led to Jewel’s conception; and the birth of her many children. While the family is in town, Dewey Dell tries to buy an abortion drug, but the pharmacist refuses to sell it to her. Then to top things off, Darl creates a makeshift cast for Cash’s broken leg using cement which damages it beyond repair. The family then spends the night at a farm, which Darl sets on fire with the hope of burning the coffin and his mother’s decaying corpse as he sees the journey as ludicrous. Jewel risks his life to drag out Addie’s coffin so they can bury her properly. Then, instead of facing a lawsuit for Darl’s bought of arson, the Bundrens claim that he is insane, and give him to
Open Document