As I Lay Dying Feminist Analysis

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From the Suffragette movement of the early 20th century to modern day Women’s Marches, it is evident that women have continuously fought against the expectations and limitations placed on them by society. Throughout William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, female characters also grapple with gender standards, and either abide by or reject them. Characters such as Dewey Dell and Cora Tull follow female expectations since Dewey Dell allows men to control her and Cora fulfills the expected role of being a caretaker for her husband and children. Addie Bundren meanwhile does not obey societal expectations, which is apparent since she has her own desires and rejects the homemaker role given to women during this time. Truly, female characters within As I Lay Dying have varied perspectives on the roles of women in society, which makes them symbols of the various outlooks on 20th century feminism. Dewey Dell’s acceptance of a male-dominating society exhibits her compliance with the sexist rhetoric of her time. Within As I Lay Dying, Dewey Dell repeatedly grants men power over her body and choices. While picking cotton in the fields, Dewey Dell is pressured into sleeping with Lafe, who vows to bed her once her bag was occupied with crop.…show more content…
While Dewey Dell and Cora follow societal standards since Dewey Dell allows men to control her and Cora takes on her assumed role as caretaker of her husband and children; Addie Bundren defies patriarchal ideals by maintaining her own desires and confirming that motherhood and wifehood are not fulfilling. Truly, female attitudes towards the principles of a male dominating society differ within As I Lay Dying, which demonstrates how although manipulation can be employed to restrict the freedoms of people within cultures, there will always be admirable people who defy societal
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