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William Faulkner`s novel, As I Lay Dying

March 28, 2016 | Author: | Posted in american literature, literature and language

William Faulkner himself referred to As I Lay dying as a `tour de force (Brodsky 1990 ) A pioneer of literary stream of consciousness Faulkner tells the tale of As I lay Dying through the voices of fifteen characters . This makes the narrative somewhat difficult to follow , but amidst the fractured thoughts and feelings expressed the reader manages to somehow connect with the central plot

As I Lay Dying focuses on the death of Addie Bundren , the wife of Anse Bundren , a poor Mississippi farmer and her family ‘s commitment to honoring the [banner_entry_middle]

matriarch ‘s wish to be laid to rest among her relatives and friends in Jefferson , Mississippi , the town from which she originates The journey through Mississippi is fraught by many twists and turns and is seen through eyes of fifteen different characters

Although Addie dies , Darl her second oldest sons , is perhaps Faulkner ‘s most tragic character in As I Lay Dying . He narrates most of the first section of the novel and there is a gradual connection to his inner thoughts and perceptions . He captures the reader with his poignant s and the feeling that he is a deep thinker is inescapable One also gets the impression that he is more observant than the average person (Wagner 1973

Early on , Jewel , Darl ‘s younger brother is behind him , but from Darl ‘s of him , we can only assume that Darl can somehow see him `Jewel and I come up from the field , following the path in single . The cotton house is of rough logs . When we reach it I turn and follow the path which circles the house . Jewel , fifteen feet behind me , looking straight ahead , steps in a single stride through the window Still staring straight ahead , his pale eyes like wood set into his wooden face , he crosses the floor in four strides (Faulkner 2000 p3

Through Darl we acquire a deep appreciation for sibling rivalry , yet the unshakable commitment that binds them in life and death . That bond is their common love and loyalty to the family matriarch , Addie Bundren The family is scattered in the opening chapter , all preparing for the death of Addie in different ways . Cash , one of Addie ‘s sons , a carpenter , is busy sawing wood , preparing to build Addie ‘s coffin

Meanwhile , Darl , has a different agenda . He is preoccupied with keeping Jewel away from the death bed . He convinces Jewel , his mother ‘s favorite son to go out with him for a load of wood , despite the fact that he knows his mother will be dead before they return . His aim is to make sure that Jewel is not at his mother ‘s side when she dies Instinctively , the reader gets the impression that Darl is jealous and wishes to deny his brother the chance to bid farewell to his mother But as the story unfolds and we get to know more about Darl , it is obvious that his motive is pure . He wishes to protect… [banner_entry_footer]

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