Parenting In William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

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In William Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying, Faulkner analyses the bonds between family members and the effects of parenting. The parenting styles in which Faulkner is scrutinizing is the difference in behaviors- of a parent- which can change the overall outcome of the child’s behavior. He expresses this in the way he displays how Addie Bundren treats her children differently from one another. The parenting styles illustrated by Addie Bundren are shown to affect children negatively, by sculpting their sanity, personality, and behavior according to the differences in parenting. Since Addie Bundren very obviously exhibits her favoritism towards Jewel, the sanity of Darl is put on the line. Darl is out casted by his mother and she does not treat…show more content…
Jewel’s personality is often very stoic and brooding, he also tends to stay away from his other family members and this is all due to Addie’s unintentional affect she has on her children. Addie was a very antisocial character and decidedly did not like to keep the company of the family that reminded her of her loveless marriage, so naturally Jewels attitude towards his family is aloof. He takes on the personality and attitude of his mother. Darl even points out Jewels distant behavior when he questions Jewel with, “who was your father, Jewel”, Faulkner is expressing how a mothers favoritism towards their children can make them become distant from the other family members and cause a rift between siblings and other family members alike. It can also be the cause of broken relationships between these children when the mother exhibits inadequate relationships of her own. The child, psychologically, will not be able to relate to people and will not be able to maintain a stable relationship of any kind and cause the child, when they become an adult, to be very lonely. Now because Darl was neglected by his mother, His personality was more forthcoming and friendly. Darl was far more social and outgoing, which is an attractive personality trait to most people, “ Darl was different from those others… he was the only one of them that had… any natural affection” (Faulkner 21). His natural…show more content…
Jewel is not a man of many words but he does tend to show his affections in the things he will do for people as do some of the other brothers, like Cash, who spends his mother’s last moments alive making her a casket outside her bedroom window. This was Cash’s way of telling his mother that he loved her and that he would make sure that her last dying wish to be buried with her family would be fulfilled. Addie’s lack of communication translated to her sons and they found it hard to communicate with her or anyone else. Jewel seems to have personified and has exhibited his mother’s preference for actions over words when he continuously saves his mother’s dead body from floods and fires with no regards to his own life. Jewel “does not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth”, Faulkner’s idea is that Jewels behavior is solely due to the fact that his mother never really outwardly gave any of her children compassion so Jewel picked up on this and continued to keep up with this behavior (1 John 3:18). Darl’s behaviors on the other hand are quite selfish and only prove to be for the benefit of himself and his own self gain. Darl wants to have all the attention that he does not get from his mother to be solely on him and no one else. Faulkner’s reasoning behind the very different behaviors of these two brothers is to express the very extent in which the
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