Examples Of Imagery In As I Lay Dying Literary Analysis Essay

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A Look Into Respecting the Dead
William Faulkner, the 1949 winner of the Nobel Prize, is well-known for his successful literary works, especially for one in particular: As I Lay Dying. In “As I Lay Dying,” the central character of the book, Addie Bundren, passes away and she wishes to be buried in Jefferson, an extremely hard-to-reach town. In order to respect Addie’s wishes and keep their word, her family must go to great lengths to get her to Jefferson. Along the way her family faces many obstacles such as, a broken bridge, the loss of their mules, and a variety of different people who don’t particularly enjoy the Bundren’s company. After nine days of strife and struggles, Addie’s family finally reaches Jefferson and lays Addie to rest. Throughout …show more content…

This shows that they have persistence and a great respect for Addie. Deborah Chappel says, “We know what Anse’s feet look like; they are ‘badly splayed’... we know that since he lost his teeth, his mouth collapses in slow repetition when he dips… and we can pick his shirt out of the laundry because the sleeves would be too short.” (Chappel 1). This proves that Anse puts others before himself, leading readers to believe that he will also respect Addie and put her before himself. This theory is proven later in Chappel’s article when she writes, “Anse insists that he is following Addie's request, that his word is sacred, and that he won't be beholden for shelter and food.” (Chappel 8). The idea that Anse wouldn’t eat before burying Addie shows his dedication to her wish. Anse wanted to ensure that she was buried, so she didn’t start to rot, before he did anything else, even if that meant going hungry for ten days. Another problem the Bundren family faced was the raging river which took the lives of their mules. In the novel, Darl says, “Between the two hills I see the heads once more. They roll up and out of the water… turning completely over, their legs stiffly extended as when they lost contact with the earth.” (Faulkner 149). Shortly after, Cash passes out. This is certainly a major turning point in the book, one that places the Bundren family farther away from …show more content…

Faulkner demonstrates this through the use of literary devices such as point of view, imagery, and symbolism. William Faulkner uses first person point of view to allow each character to put in his or her feelings and opinions about the Bundren family. Readers hear from nine different people aside from the characters of the Bundren family, which helps to establish how outsiders see their family. Secondly, Faulkner uses imagery to clearly state the complications that the Bundren family faces, some of which include: the bridge breaking down, losing their wagon and their mules, and facing rude townspeople. The fact that the Bundren family is willing to endure all of these hurdles, further proves that they are dedicated to honoring her last dying wish. Lastly Faulkner uses symbolism to portray the high respect Addie’s children have for her. He symbolizes a fish to show the kind of respect Vardaman has for her and a horse to describe the honor Jewel gives her. The coffin also portrays a sign of respect because it was tailor-made for her only. Faulkner makes his point that respect should be given to the dead through point of view, imagery, and symbolism. All of these elements aid Faulkner in making his greater

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