Literary Style In William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

1611 Words7 Pages
As I Lay Dying, one of the finest examples of William Faulkner’s distinctive writing style, was first published in 1930. The novel is the first to introduce Faulkner’s fictional Yoknapatawpha County, which serves as the setting for many of his novels and short stories. As in his other works, As I Lay Dying showcases Faulkner’s ability to reveal the intricacy of the human psyche. Told from multiple perspectives, the novel has 59 sections written mostly in stream-of-consciousness— a literary style marked by a character’s uninterrupted flow of thoughts. Also, Faulkner uniquely employs symbols throughout his work. For example, he substitutes a coffin symbol in place of the actual word and uses a blank space when one of his characters is unable…show more content…
She admits to having an extramarital affair with the local preacher, who is Jewel’s biological father. Further, Addie admits that she wants to be buried in Jefferson because she wants to spend eternity as far away from the Bundrens as possible. Throughout the expedition, Darl—the son whom most people refer to as “queer” because of his alleged telepathic ability—is the only Bundren who questions the family’s motives. After eight days, Darl tires of the spectacle of dragging his mother’s corpse through the county and sets fire to Gillespie’s barn in an attempt to burn the coffin and Addie’s putrefied body. Out of respect for his mother and a belief that she should have been buried earlier, Darl tries to burn the coffin in one of the most selfless acts in the novel. Ironically, the rest of the Bundren family deems Darl insane and has workers from a sanitarium take him away from the middle of town shortly after Addie’s burial. After facing the difficulties of the journey to Jefferson, the Bundrens remain unified at the end of the novel. When Anse gets his new teeth, he immediately remarries and introduces his children to the new Mrs. Bundren. Perhaps from their own understanding of selfishness, the children are able to accept their father’s actions. Through the Bundrens in As I Lay Dying, Faulkner explores the complexities of human beings and their relationships with one another and demonstrates that each member of a family is, after all, only human. HanaRae Dudek Grief in As I Lay Dying Within the confines of the narrative in As I Lay Dying, grief clouds the day to day existence at the Bundren household. While Addie Bundren lies on her deathbed, her children and husband negotiate their way through her imminent but uncertain death, the urgency to prepare a coffin for her, arranging for her burial far away in another town, as Addie so desires, and the need for the family to not let go of the opportunity to
Open Document