Castes And Society In William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

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Throughout history, there has always been a fracture between those of different social castes. Whereas these minute differences may at first seem inconsequential, they inevitably lead to a large division within the society. A prime example of this is the three-tiered system that was in place in pre-Napoleonic France. In this system, France was divided into those of the clergy, the nobility, and the peasantry, creating one of the most prominent class divisions in modern history. These divisions crippled France’s government and economy, and incited those of the lower class to revolt and attempt to balance the divide. In his novel As I Lay Dying William Faulkner plays heavily upon this theme. In the novel, the primary protagonists are the Bundrens, an impoverished family living in the rural South who are constantly being put in bad situations. Additionally, they are consistently looked down upon by those around them for their seemingly uncultured manner. Faulkner parodies the struggles of impoverished southern families in As I Lay Dying in order to call attention to the imbalance of societal ideals between people of different socioeconomic statuses in the United States during the 1920s.
Faulkner uses the Tulls, a family of a higher social class than that of the Bundrens, as one of the most prevalent examples of this theme. Throughout the entire book the reader sees how the Tulls feel about the Bundrens and how they react to all of their questionable decisions. Cora Tull
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