Religion In William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

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Religion in As I Lay Dying
The time and setting during which the novel was written are very important for understanding William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. This novel was written in 1930 Mississippi; during this time Mississippi was very religious. Unsurprisingly, Christianity and religion also plays a big role in As I Lay Dying particularly through imagery and symbolism that connects different characters to religious figures, including Jesus Christ. However, somewhat ironically, the character who is perhaps the most standout Christ figure in the novel is Jewel, who in his only chapter questions the existence of God. Although Jewel doesn’t seem like the ideal Christ figure because of the way he speaks and the actions he takes, William Faulkner …show more content…

Then we can take a look at Cora Tull who can be seen as deeply religious, and is the wealthier neighbor of the Bundrens. Cora Tull can also be seen as being the most vocal in her disapproval in some of the actions that the Bundrens take especially the certain actions that Addie takes right before she dies. As Addie is dying, Cora criticizes her for favoring Jewel, “the one she labored so to bear and coddled and petted so” (21). According to Cora, Jewel frequently had “tantrums” and “sulking spells” and invented “devilment to devil her” (21). Cora is judgmental of Addie’s perceived favoritism of Jewel because in her mind, Jewel does not behave correctly. However, it is not her place to criticize someone else for things that she cannot understand. This is clear, because she then goes on to claim that Jewel did not really love his mother because according to Cora, he would rather “make that extra three dollars” than to give his mother a “goodbye kiss” (21-22). In Cora 's eyes Darl was the good son and Jewel was the bad son. In her eyes Darl was the son that cared more about Addie and the son that was more sympathetic while Addie was dying. Jewel, in Cora 's eyes, was the son that did not seem to care for Addie while she was dying. We can see that Cora Tull 's view on Darl and Jewel were not accurate, in fact, her view was quite the opposite of what actually happened. We know from Darl’s chapter, that this is not even an accurate view of what happened. Jewel did not want to go; it was Darl who pushed for it. We can see this through the dialogue between Darl and Jewel. Jewel can be seen as not being able to accept the fact that Addie is close to dying, he says “‘Ma aint that sick’”. Jewel can be seen as getting angry at the fact that Darl had already accepted the fact that Addie was dead and that he still cannot accept this fact. Throught the scene, Jewel’s dialogue is largely angry and directed at his family, as he says things like “‘Shut up, Darl’” and “‘Shut your

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