In As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, the conflicting attitudes Cora Tull and Addie Bundren hold towards language and action determine their views on motherhood, marriage, and religion and how they choose to live their lives accordingly. Cora welcomes her role as mother, believes her duty is to her husband, and relies on the intensity of her faith. On the other hand, Addie despises being a mother, thinks love is meaningless, and concludes religion is solely a matter of words. But Faulkner uses his characters to show that neither language nor action is stronger than the other or mutually exclusive.
Cora: A Woman’s Duty is to Her Family
Cora Tull fits the typical mold and expectations of a woman. She embraces her role in the family, yet views …show more content…
By placing their trust in language or action, their choices determine their outlook. Cora takes language at face value and trusts in the meaning behind words. Addie distrusts language on its own and requires action to believe in what words mean to express. In “’As I Lay Dying’: Family Conflict and Verbal Fictions,” John Earl Bassett states, “Human experience and interaction require language” (126). Addie gives strong evidence to support her need for deeds and belief that words cannot encompass the importance of experience. Yet, some of the words she rejects, such as “motherhood” and “marriage,” demonstrate her own failure. In the end, her distrust of language leads her into a self-destructive lifestyle. On the other hand, Cora survives by her limitations. Language and action reinforce different aspects of the same concept. Cora and Addie individually hold flawed perspectives, but together prove that action supports language, and language helps action be understood. Moreover, they demonstrate that an action alone cannot uphold a word. Ultimately, the meaning of language arises from the motivations and intentions behind an
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As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner In the excerpt from William Faulkner’s Southern novel, As I Lay Dying the author structures his novel through the use of literary features such as allusion, similes a belittling yet humorous tone, concrete imagery and a stream of consciousness style in the passage. Faulkner throughout the passage not only describes Cash’s reserved character and Darls perspective imagination but he also foreshadows the struggle the Bundren’s will go through as they prepare to go on the journey of burying Addie. First, Faulkner has the speaker Darl create a gloomy mood by using similes to display the ambiance in the room. Then Faulkner alludes to the bible and uses concrete imagery to illustrate both the surroundings and Cash’s concentration and determination as he makes his mother’s coffin.
Addie’s ideas are very raw, so that the reader understands that what Addie says is an accurate representation of how she feels. In this particular interior monologue, Addie explains the stress that other characters put on her, which contributes to the reason why she chooses to stay away from others. The interior monologue shows that Anse affected Addie’s self-image dramatically, because of Addie’s inability to remember life before him, “The shape of my body where I used to be a virgin is in the shape of a ” (173). The blank represents Addie “drawing a blank” or forgetting what life used to be like when she was still a
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.
The Nobel prize speech by William Faulkner and novel, As I Lay Dying , both enhance how the author intends to fulfill his own vision of the writer’s duty. Faulkner’s duty is to encourage writers to focus on problems that deserve attention which are not introduced in other texts. The tone of the Nobel prize speech is assertive yet grasping around the idea of the future for literature. Through both sources, Faulkner speaks not only to the writers, but the individuals that can be empowered by his words and actions. In the Nobel prize speech, Faulkner is directly speaking to writers who have a desire to follow his footsteps, which is writing.
In many literary classics, we see many uses of literary devices, usually to portray or enhance a theme of the book. In William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, there are many themes and many devices to depict them. But the narration/POV of different characters serves to affect the reader’s perspective, especially on the theme of family and honor- or lack thereof.
Anse Bundren is the father and husband in William Faulkner’s 1930 novel “As I Lay Dying.” Anse is a “ignorant and poor white man” (“As I Lay Dying”). “Addie’s husband”, Anse, starts off being “afraid that the boys might not get back in time” (Atchity). Anse wants his sons to return, so he does not have to carry his wife’s “body to the Jefferson graveyard” (Atchity). Anse gets “across the river on ruins of the bridge” and leaves his older sons to get the wagon across (Atchity).
Nevertheless, perception doesn’t only affect the way people deal with others, but how they act themselves, “Why-! The girl [Abigail] is murder! She must be ripped out of the world!” (Miller 72). Elizabeth’s loathing for the person she perceives Abigail to be has lead her to say things that she never would have before.
The Comedy Amidst The Chaos The novel As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, is a novel that would appear to be easily considered a tragedy at first glance. However, after reading and examining the novel, it becomes questionable as to what the genre of the novel actually is. The story of the Bundren family and their quest is surrounded by a tragic event, the death of a mother and wife, Addie. In spite of this, the Bundren’s quest to bury Addie in her hometown creates a series of events and actions that cause characters and the quest to spiral out of control. The death of Addie is truly a tragedy, but it is the tragedy that generates situations and circumstances that are so strange that the novel becomes comical.
The purpose of women in the novel is to have a family, raise them, and take care of the household. They are seen as children-bearers. This is the role of women in rural areas at the time, and this is to be their life aspirations. Cora lives by that standard. She is obedient
The movie “We Still Live Here” talks about the revitalization of the Wampanoag’s language. After long generations of resilience and courage, a cultural revival is taking place now. Toodie Coombs, a Mashpee Wampanoag who appears in the film, asserts that the Wampanoags are a strong people, their strength is coming from living in two worlds. The two worlds she is referring to are the modern world they are living now, the American way of life, the modern life, the world where they speak English and on the other hand, there is the world before the white man came to this land, the world of their ancestors, their native way of life, with its own special characteristics culturally, economically and even biologically. I would like to start by the Wampanoag’s world in the past.
William Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying follows the Bundren family on a journey while it explores the subject of heroism and discusses its subjectivity. The family travels on an expedition to bury Addie, the deceased mother of the protagonist, Darl Bundren, and his siblings. As days continue to pass, however, the journey seemed interminable. During the adventure, the family takes a stop at Gillespie’s barn for the evening. While they rest Darl sets the barn, in which the coffin sits, ablaze.
The House on Mango Street Message Not many of us can say that we have lived up to the expectations given to us and internally benefited from it. In the book The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, Esperanza struggles with growing up with many expectations placed on her. She lives in a Latino neighborhood in Chicago with many neighbors who teach her important lessons. Overall, the story has a message that you should not rely on expectations and the author shows it by using the characterization of Esperanza and through figurative language.
While at a public speaking, Tan realized that she was using all these large words that her audience understood but her mother did not. “I was saying things like, “The intersection of memory upon imagination” and “There is an aspect of my fiction that relates to thus–and-thus…the forms of English I did not use at home with my mother” (Tan 58). Tan’s mother was in the room while Tan was giving the speech and that was when she realized that language could be a powerful tool that can connect each other in different ways. The English language can also bring people together who speak English but not in such a common way. “We were talking about the price of new and used furniture and I heard myself saying this: “Not waste money that way” (Tan 58).
In Lera Boroditsky 's "How Does Our Language Shape the Way We Think" the purpose of the essay is apparent from the second paragraph. "Language is a uniquely human gift central to our experience of being human" she explains, so that the reader understands how language affects ones thoughts and day to day lives (2). Boroditsky 's use of empirical evidence, factual information, organizational structure, understanding and construction upon thoughts that disprove her purpose, and light tone all aide in accomplishing her purpose. Each of these methods help convince the audience that, " Language is central to our experience of being human, and the languages we speak profoundly shapes the way we think, the way we see the world, the way we live our lives" (Boroditsky 10).
On the one hand, some argue that language constructs our thoughts. From this perspective, Deborah Tannen, from the language constructs thought community, states that “This is how language works. It invisibly molds our way of thinking about people, actions, and the world around us” (Tannen 14). On the other hand, however, others such as Richard Selzer, might say that language is used to represent our thoughts, but it can fall short. One of his view’s main proponents are, “these extremes of sensation remain beyond the power of language to express” (Selzer 28).