Insanity takes different forms. Some harm themselves or are a danger to others. Darl Bundren, however, is declared insane because he thinks differently from his family and twentieth century society. Darl serves as the primary narrator in William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, a story of one dysfunctional family’s journey through the Mississippi countryside to the town of Jefferson to bury their matriarch. With the greatest number of monologues, Darl acts as a surrogate for Faulkner.
Laing’s concept of insanity is analogous to that of Michel Foucault. In the book Madness and Civilization , Foucault contends that the society constructs one’s experience of madness. In Laing’s view, similar happens when sanity is judged upon the basis of the relationship between the psychiatrist and the psychotic. When sanity and madness is analyzed through this relationship, the binary distinction between the two words, that may have been, is lost and sanity is but a matter of degrees. Moreover, every person’s perception of sanity differs from the other.
Darl refers to his mother as “Addie” because it emphasized the disconnection there is;The unwanted and unloved emotion that he felt created a struggle of finding himself. “I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or am not.”(Faulkner 80) Addie and Anse negligence left a gaping hole in darl’s identity that was unable to be filled and caused him to have a mental breakdown. In the beginning Darl’s language is structured but then shifts to a word salad: “yes yes yes yes”(Faulkner 244) which reveals his mental state since he could no longer live with the instability he face. An analysis of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying reveals the importance of parenting as the result of Darl’s mental breakdown by the negligence of his parents.
It is Addie’s death that inspires the characters to question the strength of existence; Jewel fuels his emotions into loving his horse, Vardaman thinks himself into talking gibberish and thinks of his mother as a fish, and Darl believes that Addie no longer exists, “I cannot love my mother because I have no mother” (86). Through this Faulkner is able to convey how death may possibly erase what remains of one’s life after they cease to
He was not tough enough to cope with the loss and it got to him. He is stuck in himself where the grief has taken over and illustrates this by speaking in third person, a common occurrence for people like him who were never vocal or expressive of their feelings. This was a triggering moment for Darl as he realised the purpose and focus of this journey, which was not his mother but each family member's
The text performs its own undoing through its medium by constantly unravelling its own inherent contradictions. The novel turns out to be a contesting site for the warring forces of signifiers and consequently disseminates into an indefinite range of self-conflicting significations. It is to Faulkner’s credit, the absolute artist that he is, could produce a sublime reading experience of it. In As I Lay Dying, Faulkner pushes language to its limit through Addie’s and Darl’s unconventional use of language. Their agrammatical, asyntactical, apertinent, and asemantic language questions and destabilizes the established orders embedded within the major language.
This book explored schizophrenia as a rational response to unbearable experiences. When he sat down to write the book in the late 1950s, the outlook in psychiatry was that the mind of an unbalanced person was just an amalgamation of senseless fantasies or obsessions. Patients were simply tested for certain symptoms of mental illness, and treated proportionately. His goal was “to make madness, and the process of going mad, comprehensible”, and he accomplished this by showing how psychosis – especially, that relating to schizophrenia - actually “makes sense to the person suffering it.” According to him, the psychiatrist on his/her part should simply get inside the mind of the sufferer. He very categorically pointed out that ‘The Divided Self’ was not a medically researched book rather a set of observations, clouded by existential philosophy, about the essence of schizophrenia.
Despite the fact that they all embark on the journey with the goal to bury Addie, they all have other reasons for wanting to arrive in Jefferson that distract them from Addie’s burial. In fact, Addie’s burial, although presented as the driving force for the entire novel, is so incredibly anticlimactic when it actually occurs that it lasts a single sentence. Dewey Dell is the only daughter of the Bundren family. Aside from Addie Bundren and their neighbor Cora Tull, Dewey Dell is essentially the only core female character in the entire novel. Dewey Dell’s character is thus one that is extrapolated to reflect the struggles of many young women in settings that parallel that of As I Lay Dying (a
Without her, regression to childhood is impossible and so Roderick dies. Excluded from the sibling relationship, the narrator is allowed to survive and flees from the House to the storm raging outside. Stripped of its patriarchal ties to humanity, the House crumbles, swallowed by the “deep and dark tarn” (Poe 25). By effectively conflating Madeline’s absence with insanity, the existing prejudices against women during the Victorian era are used to stigmatize mental
The poet uses the descriptive language to create an image of complete resistance to death. In the first line of the first stanza, the poet seems to feel very determined by directly proposing that one should not accept their fate easily. He kept urging the elders to keep moving and not to give up their life easily. It is very confused as he used the words “gentle” and “good” to describe “night” but he urged people not to go into that “good night”. Night can be used in connection to darkness as at night there was no light and everywhere is dark.