Hypocrisy In As I Lay Dying

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William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying is an adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey, with both works chronicling the adventures of Anse Bundren and Odysseus, respectively, as they strive to complete their great journeys. The similarities between the two end there, as Faulkner’s world of Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, is a grim portrayal of Southern society. Anse certainly not the archetypal Greek Hero, but rather a sleazy, lazy man. This attitude infects the rest of the Bundren family as they traverse through Faulkner’s Southern Gothic South to bury their mother, Addie. Pride, defined as being satisfaction from staying true to one’s own identity and dignity, unfortunately, shares a similar fate with Addie Bundren as pride being tarnished as the Bundrens turn their backs on the very same identities they once held in high regard. Faulkner uses incongruent placement of Anse and, eventually, Cash’s priorities and thoughts during their attempt to bury Addie in order to criticize the lack of stable values in Southern society. The pervasive incongruity and hypocrisy within Faulkner’s world causes the loss of pride, perpetuating the grim South of the Southern Gothic genre. Anse tries to portray himself as a down on his luck farmer and husband despite his opportunistic and faithless nature.…show more content…
The lack of order is an advantage for morally-loose individuals maintain their lifestyle and disheartens the normally proud and honest people, forcing them to abandon their pride in order to adapt to the unjust world. However, Faulkner’s theme of the loss of pride extends beyond the Bundren family. Beyond the novel, the grappling with the reality that the world is inherently unfair and a loss of identity is responsible for conflicts, especially on racial and class lines. While it is simple to criticize individuals placed in such a predicament, a sense of sympathy would be the more appropriate
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