This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Role Of A Mother In As I Lay Dying Written By William Faulkner

2498 words - 10 pages

Many mothers, regardless of age or situation, share sympathetic life ideals. They all share the common goal of raising their children wholesome; they want to create an environment of love, nurture, and support for their children as well. A mother’s effort to implant good values in her children is perpetual; they remain optimistic and hope that their children would eventually become prosperous. However, some women were not fit to be mothers. Thus, two different roles of a mother are portrayed in As I Lay Dying written by William Faulkner. Faulkner uses the literary technique of first person narrative with alternating perspectives. By doing so, Faulkner adds authenticity and the ability to relate (for some) to the two characters Addie Bundren and Cora Tull. The first person narrative acts as an important literary technique because it allows the reader to experience the opposing views of Addie and Cora; they are both mothers who act as foils to each other because of their diverse opinions and outlooks on motherhood, religion and life.
The title of the novel—As I Lay Dying—suggests that there is a first-person speaker, which seemingly suggests that it is the voice of Addie Bundren, the dead mother. However, Addie only actually communicates in the first person once in the novel and besides the few beginning chapters, “she is dead, not dying” (Ross 305). As I Lay Dying was divided into fifty-nine sections and written in first person narrative with fifteen different viewpoints (Ross 300). Since there are fifteen different viewpoints, the point of view then shifts between each different narrator. Each narrator has a “unique, personal interpretation and reaction to the events of the novel” (Ross 301). The tone varies from narrator to narrator as well, from tragic to comic, calm, hysterical, emotional and detached. The structure that makes up the story is commanding and original; it allows the reader to see into the minds of each character, how they feel about Addie, and what they are truly about. The narrators alternate, showcasing the fluctuating levels of coherence, understanding and emotional strength. The dialect differs from character to character and the language each character uses, varies on level of intensity and subjectivity. Each character’s speech varies from being confessional to teetering on the line of awareness and consciousness. The characters each have their own view on life and on the way Addie Bundren lived her life: through these alternate character’s eyes, we can piece together the bits and pieces of Addie’s life, death and the haulage of her decaying body to Jefferson. The narrative seems to be fragmented however, it also exhibits a type of unity. The story takes place over the course of a few days yet the differing “sub-plots are logically and skillfully interwoven” (Ross 309). Faulkner forces the reader to see the narrative from multiple perspectives.
One main factor that emphasizes the distinction between Cora and Addie is...

Find Another Essay On The Role of a Mother in As I Lay Dying Written by William Faulkner

As I Lay Dying William Faulkner

1500 words - 6 pages As I Lay DyingWilliam Faulkner was one of the greatest Southern writers of the twentieth century and all his novels are written about the South, especially As I Lay Dying. "In all of As I Lay Dying, Faulkner turned to extreme uses of the first-person narration; it is as if he saw the need to purge his work of his undeveloped omniscient instincts by eliminating his own voice entirely"(Bryfonski 9:199). This novel is about a family composed of a

Symbolism in As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner

815 words - 4 pages The use of a symbol has the potential to add depth and meaning to a work of literature. With symbols, a writer can convey a complex idea using a single world. When used in a work of literature, a symbol has the ability to express the characters of the work as a whole. In his novel As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner uses an enveloping symbol of Cash’s tools in order to underline the development of the characters throughout the novel. Cash’s

Central Themes in As I Lay Dying by Faulkner

792 words - 4 pages . Bundren. Completing the journey of burying Addie does not actually accomplish anything at all. Ironically, the end of the quest simply results in more misery for the Bundren family. Therefore, Faulkner uses irony and inversion throughout the novel to break the storyline and reveal reality as subjectivity. Therefore, he uses irony and inversion as significant themes to challenge the classical quest and invert everything to the opposite of what readers would consider normal. He collapses the hierarchy of a quest with a modernist way of thinking. Therefore irony and inversion mark the significant themes in As I Lay Dying.

The Role of Isolation in As I Lay Dying

1336 words - 5 pages William Faulkner’s novel, As I Lay Dying, tells the story of a family that journeys cross-country with the intentions to find a proper resting place for their mother, Addie Bundren. After reading for only a short time, it becomes clear that two of her sons, Jewel and Darl, play a much larger role in the story than the other siblings. One could find many good points to support either character being labeled as the protagonist of the story, such

How Does William Faulkner Use Multiple-Narrative in As I Lay Dying?

938 words - 4 pages As I Lay Dying, written by William Faulkner, is the story of the Bundren family's venture away from their small farm to a town forty miles away. Many characters tell this story - there are fifteen narrators throughout fifty-nine sections of the book. By using a multiple-voice narrative, Faulkner removes himself from the story. The characters relay the story as they perceive it. The use of multiple perspectives shows the personality of the

The Themes of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

1067 words - 4 pages William Faulkner in his book "As I Lay Dying" portrays a Mississippi family which goes through many hardships and struggles.  Faulkner uses imagery to illustrate an array of central themes such as the conscious being or existence and poverty among many others. From the first monologue, you will find and indulgence of sensual appeal, they are a strong aspect through out the novel.  Each character develops stronger and stronger by

The Importance of Animals in William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying"

778 words - 3 pages In William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying", there are numerous references to animals. When the Bundren family loses their mother, each child has a different animal that they relate to so they can deal with their situation. The characters compare themselves to animals, in the case of Dewey Dell, or they compare their dead mother to animals, which can be seen in the case of Jewel and Vardaman. Animals are a key part of the novel because they serve as

Southern Influence in William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

1706 words - 7 pages family’s heart, home, and soul. However, during the course of As I Lay Dying, the Bundren family is on a voyage to Yoknapatawpha’s capital, Jefferson, to bury Addie Bundren (the mother and wife of the family). They make this day and a half endeavor by horse and wagon, carrying Addie’s body in a homemade coffin. Jefferson is a big city where Addie’s blood family is from, and it is her wish to be buried with them within the city limits. Although there

William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying

2385 words - 10 pages “The past is never dead. It's not even past.” ― William Faulkner In William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, characterization, specifically through the multitude of narrators, transforms an otherwise pedestrian plot into a complex pilgrimage to the truth. As I Lay Dying is told from the perspective of fifteen different characters in 59 chapters (Tuck 35). Nearly half (7) of the characters from whose perspective the story is narrated are members

William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

644 words - 3 pages William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying In William Faulkner's novel, As I Lay Dying many points of view are expressed through the use of interior monologue, but even when they are all put together, they can't serve as an objective view of what really happened. In the book, there are many monologues by many different people, often with opposing ideas and beliefs. Together the novel is a book of half-truths, with each set of events formed by what

William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

983 words - 4 pages ; in other words he flexed the usual methods to fit his ideas of stream of consciousness and character development. Faulkner is quite revolutionary in all of his methods, especially for the time period in which he wrote it.      Narration in As I Lay Dying is bewildering at best. And at worst it is a ragged collection of thoughts and paraphrased verbatim by sporadically chosen characters in the wrong order. But no one is trying to claim that this

Similar Essays

As I Lay Dying By William Faulkner

2274 words - 9 pages William Faulkner's novel "As I Lay Dying" centers on the death and ensuing burial of the matriarch of the Bundren family, Addie. The book is written in first person point of view and is narrated by family members and acquaintances of Addie. It is through the narratives of the other characters that her personality is revealed. Few clearly defined details about Addie are given in the novel, and as such, the reader must learn about her through

As I Lay Dying By William Faulkner

1417 words - 6 pages As I Lay Dying By William Faulkner By ____________ Literature is a great form of entertainment, unfortunately it is only entertaining when the author is skilled in using the proper literary devices and writing styles that capture our emotions, and make it enjoyable to read their books. This story was thoroughly disappointing. It had a lot of hidden plot, symbolism, and a confusing writing style. The overall story was not compelling

"As I Lay Dying" By William Faulkner

1055 words - 4 pages Fulfilling a promise they had made to their mother,Addie, Cash, Darl, Jewel, Dewey Dell, and Vardaman, inWilliam Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, journey across theMississippi countryside to bring her body to be buried inJefferson, alongside her immediate family. Each one, inturn, narrates the events of this excursion as they areperceived. Though all of the family members are goingthrough the same experiences, each one expresses what theysee and how

Analysis Of As I Lay Dying By William Faulkner

1983 words - 8 pages The novel “As I Lay Dying” by William Faulkner follows a family who is on a journey to bury their recently deceased mother, in the nearby town of Jefferson. The novel is told from the perspective of monologues, told by each of the characters encountered throughout the story. Specifically, Darl Bundren seems to be the protagonist character in this novel. Darl is the second oldest of the Bundren children and seems to be isolated from the rest