Examinations of Philosophy and Identity in Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying

The story of a dysfunctional family and its epic journey across the South, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying is famous for its use of multiple narrators who interpret and recount the journey of the Bundren clan from their own unique perspectives. All of the characters, whether members of the family or outsiders who encounter … Read moreExaminations of Philosophy and Identity in Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying

“Violent Love” and Other Notions of Dysfunctional Relationships in Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying

In typical modernist fashion, William Faulkner experiments in his work with a number of nontraditional stylistic and thematic characteristics, including brokenness, fragmentation, despair, pessimism, perception distortion, and the rejection of societal norms. In his novel As I Lay Dying, he focuses on a sense of alienation and separation, particularly within the Bundren family. Members of … Read more“Violent Love” and Other Notions of Dysfunctional Relationships in Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying

Semantics and Modes of Communication in As I Lay Dying

At the crux of Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying is the issue of communication. The characters’ methods of communicating are many and vary, in some cases, depending upon the characters’ relationships with one another. Verbal communication is curt and generally without special significance; the very value of words – the vehicle by which verbal communication … Read moreSemantics and Modes of Communication in As I Lay Dying

Jewel’s Development in As I Lay Dying

William Faulkner uses multiple narrators in As I Lay Dying, a technique that enables him to illustrate different mindsets on events and ethical questions. Some narrators’ motivations are clear: Dewey Dell is determined to get an abortion, for example, and Vardaman longs for a toy train and bananas. Jewel is more difficult to understand, and … Read moreJewel’s Development in As I Lay Dying

Subjectivitiy in As I Lay Dying

One of the central thematic elements of As I Lay Dying is the distinction between fact and interpretation of fact. Clearly, any objective fact can result in a multitude of subjective interpretations because the characters all have individual points of view. Their perspectives of any empirical truth depends upon their prejudices and perceptions; as a … Read moreSubjectivitiy in As I Lay Dying

“As I Lay Dying,” So Does My Family: Profanity and Kinship in Faulkner’s Novel

William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying presents an aggressive view of an unusual family. The Bundren family’s mother figure, Addie, dies. While transporting her body to Jackson for burial, the remaining six family members struggle to make it alive, uninjured, and in time so that the corpse stops rotting and smelling. Jewel, one of the … Read more“As I Lay Dying,” So Does My Family: Profanity and Kinship in Faulkner’s Novel

Darl: Narrator or Character?

William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying tells the story of the Bundren family when the matriarch of the family dies. Faulkner alternates perspectives between each member of the family and their neighbors. While most characters focus on their thoughts around Addie’s death, Darl Bundren is more aware of his surroundings. He focuses on appearances and … Read moreDarl: Narrator or Character?

In Search of Our Mothers’ Corpses: Motherhood and the Lacanian Order in Meridian

In the essay “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens,” Alice Walker presents a moving portrait of matrilineal art and creativity extending throughout black history. Following this line, Walker illustrates generations upon generations of lost artists, mothers and grandmothers “driven to a numb and bleeding madness by the springs of creativity in them for which there … Read moreIn Search of Our Mothers’ Corpses: Motherhood and the Lacanian Order in Meridian

Faulkner’s Symbolism in As I Lay Dying

“My mother is a fish” is perhaps the most famous quote from William Faulkner’s Southern Gothic novel, As I Lay Dying (Faulkner, 1957, p. 84). William Cuthbert Faulkner was born in 1897 in Oxford, Mississippi. The setting of As I Lay Dying, as well as many of his other novels, resembles the bucolic nature of … Read moreFaulkner’s Symbolism in As I Lay Dying

The Semblance of Selflessness: The Ingenuity of Kindness in As I Lay Dying

On the surface, the county of Yoknapatawpha seems to be a close-knit community that provides a support system for the Bundrens in the aftermath of Addie Bundren’s death. While this is technically true, it is not as rosy a picture as Blackman makes it seem. Blackman’s comment that the goodwill displayed in the novel is … Read moreThe Semblance of Selflessness: The Ingenuity of Kindness in As I Lay Dying