Heroes In William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

1239 Words5 Pages
Stories often depict tales of heroes, villains, and those who stand by watching the inevitable to happen; however, on rare occasions heroes are not fighting the antagonistic written on the pages. Sometimes, they are created just to do good actions that go without thanks, or other times shamed for doing the good deed. In the story, As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner, the actions of unannounced heroes are the main feature. The characters are poor hill farmers, lacking in social skills as compared to the normality of civilized society, causing them to become social outcasts. Faulkner skillfully reveals something often not highlighted in stories: no matter how dirty, low class, or different a person is they can be heroes. Faulkner shows that…show more content…
These problem setters can be simple by design but have incredible impact on the story. Addie, the dead mother, is the antihero. The most unheroic thing about her is her selfish desire to be buried with her blood family that takes a journey and a half to get to. This is an ordinary act of a character, but Faulkner shows that even the ordinary could be great. In this case, she causes much trouble. Doreen Fowler, a writer explains why the title and the mother are of significant meaning by comparing it to the Odyssey. He wants his readers to believe that the mother was capable of withstanding the forces outside the world just to seek revenge on the family she never really wanted. Fowler’s title, “Matricide and the Mother’s Revenge: As I lay dying,” is the first thing that makes audiences want to lend an ear to her opinion. She quotes a line from the Odyssey, “As I Lay dying, the woman with dog’s eyes would not close for me my eyelids as I descended into Hades,” (316) because she wants to show that the “woman” would watch the evils of those who came before her. Addie, the woman who dies, watches the evils that occur in the family as she lays dying. Faulkner’s ability to tie these together is brilliant, and shows that even dead, marred, and confirmed evil is still something a person can
Open Document