William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

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What is a male? What is a female? Are they not one? If not, what makes one superior to the other? Equality, in its purest form, is the prevention of discrimination against any one gender. To deepen the definition, equality gives opportunities to all people, regardless of their sex. The novel, As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner severely lacks gender equality, and fails to highlight the rights of women in their battle for independence from men. His characters in the novel do not represent any of the hard work women did to get where they are today. One could even argue that his female characters do an injustice to the women’s rights movements in the United States and all they have given to women everywhere. Each character blindly follows the gender roles assigned to them. Cora is seen in the novel as an intense follower of God and religion, but in all actuality she is an intense follower of her husband. For instance, Cora states, “A women’s place is with her husband and children, alive or dead…I have tried to live right in the sight of God and man, for the honor and comfort of my Christian husband and the love and respect of my Christian children,” (21). This is proof that Mrs. Tull is not bothered by women’s rights or gender equality. Cora prefers to live her …show more content…

Take Addie Burden for another example. She is perhaps the strongest female figure in the book, yet she falls to the whims of Anse. Addie feels that it is her duty as a woman to give Anse what he is “entitled to,” even though she despises the man. Addie molds into the stereotypical housewife saying, “I gave Anse the children. I did not ask for them. I did not even ask him for what he could have given me: not-Anse. That was my duty to him, to not ask that, and that duty I fulfilled,” (160). Even at the end of the novel, she is still depending solely upon the men in the family to give her, in death, the freedom she never gained during her

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