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Addie Bundren. Essay

1230 words - 5 pages

Addie Bundren conjures up the central darkness derived from her death and directly or indirectlycauses actions in which each Bundren character takes advantage of Addie. With the character's actionsrevolving around her death, William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying reveals the truth about the people whosurround a person may take advantage of him or her. The death of Addie Bundren shapes all of thecharacter's actions in life including Addie's final request before her death. Addie takes advantage of herdeath by using it for revenge and inflicting final pains upon some characters, while the other characters useher to get what they want for their personal needs.Addie causes all the painful actions around her family either directly or indirectly. Addie isforemost the prominent abuser of her upcoming death in As I Lay Dying. She predetermines her time todie, and she makes sure that the people in her family whom she dislikes must experience her wrath beforeshe moves on to the next life. "Addie is the one who is dying, but she makes revenges run throughout thefamily and extend beyond" (Wadlington 35). Inflicting pain mostly on Anse, Addie enjoys herself. Anse, alazy man, is forced by his wife to take her to Jefferson to be buried as her final request. Addie's revengeon Anse was payback for all the times when he just sat around while Addie, her children, and sometimesneighbors do all the hard work for him. Also "Addie reacts to Anse's arid conventionality by having aclandestine affair with minister Whitfield" (Wadlington 31). Addie also indirectly hurts one of her favoritesons, Cash. Cash is hurt indirectly when he helps !his kinfolk carry his mother's coffin to Jefferson, where along the path, he breaks his leg while crossing aflooded river. Although Cash is one of Addie's favorites besides Jewel, Addie's cruel revenge carries overto Cash's broken leg, which later becomes infected. Besides her indirect action on Cash's leg, Cash is themost favorite of Addie. As Wadlington states, "He is very much his mother's son in expressing his feelingsthrough physical action rather than through words by building a coffin for the mother he loves"(Wadlington 41).Jewel, Addie's second favorite next to Cash, seems to be cursed by his callous mother. Jewel can onlyexpress himself through physical actions by being cruel. Yelling and screaming is the only way Jewelshows his love for his mother, but Jewel's ferocity begins to wear him down physically. Saving hismother's coffin from going downstream and rescuing the coffin from the burning barn were some waysJewel showed his love, although those actions are quite extreme because Jewel could have been killed.Addie's revenge could have killed Jewel, but luckily it did not happen.Addie's revenge also affects her little son Vardaman. Teaching of the world is usually the mother's job inthe family especially on Addie's case since Anse is a lazy bum. As "for Vardaman, his "unknowingness"comes from his mother's death compounded by his...

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