As I Lay Dying Analysis

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30 December 2021

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In As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, the author makes use of completely different options in his writing that pertained to his life. In Faulkner’s most well-known works, the setting of Mississippi is talked about. Since Faulkner lived most of his life in Mississippi, it was easy for him to supply depth and particulars to the portrayal of the characters and setting. Another distinguishing function is the multiple views utilized in some of his novels. As I Lay Dying is advised through the viewpoint of the protagonist’s children, which permits the story the liberty to shift via ideas and emotions.

He wanted to interact in new themes and specific completely different ideas all through his work. Faulkner has also conjured up a fantasy town in Mississippi where most of his novels take place, despite the fact that they might not have any correlation in any respect.

Plot Synopsis:

The novel begins with an outline of Cash, Addie Bundren’s oldest son, building a wood coffin for his dying mother.

The household is aware that they have to begin their journey to Jefferson, Mississippi, since it was Addie’s dying want to return there in demise. They would encounter many bodily and emotional obstacles all through the journey. The family crossed a river that used to have a bridge over it however, the coffin dropped in the water together with their pack of mules. Dewey Dell, Addie’s one and solely daughter, was too involved about her being pregnant to fret about her mother’s dying. After Addie was buried in Jefferson, Anse launched his kids to the new “Mrs.

Bundren” while he was out on the lookout for shovels to bury Addie with. The story was one big journey that introduced completely different views and the achievement of Addie Bundren’s dying want.

Theme Analysis:

The central themes in As I Lay Dying are absence of sympathy. Throughout the mother’s passing her children never actually cried or mourned her death correctly. Also, the brothers and sisters didn’t have sympathy amongst themselves. On web page 28 of the novel, which is being advised by way of Dewey Dell’s perspective, she is informed by her brother Darl that her mother goes to die. Dell simply asked him when she was going to die. Her response confirmed no emotion or astonishment that the woman who birthed and raised her was going to go away their facet soon. Also, while Darl and Jewel had been carrying Addie’s coffin to the wagon, Jewel had no regard for the box, handling it very violently, virtually dropping the field. In addition, Darl mentioned that they were transferring slowly “as though it had been one thing infinitely treasured.” The use of the word “were”, permits the assumption that Darl and Jewel don’t think their mother is valuable or something close to that matter. The lack of sympathy roaming via the household can finally be Addie Bundren’s fault. On page 172 of the novel, which is in Addie’s perspective, she mentions that the word “love” is “just a shape to fill the lack” and that she would by no means use that word in the direction of when he was a child. The unsympathetic tendencies are likely to run deep in this family, because it all began with Addie herself. She talked about that she didn’t “ask for them”, referring to her youngsters. The hate or, at the very least, the apathetic mood the youngsters have for his or her mother is justified. Since she never confirmed love or assist and left the emotional baggage to Anse, the children simply didn’t feel sufficient in the course of their mother. How might they reciprocate feelings they have been never given initially?The absence of sympathy is an undertone in the story. It isn’t talked about explicitly, however one could make connections via interplay and dialogue. The theme provides the message that even though folks could be brought together by sure occurrences, it won’t change who they finally are.

Literary Analysis:

The writer makes use of a substantial amount of direct characterization within the story to characterize the absence of sympathy. Faulkner used reactions and thoughts, those of the character’s, to take care of a persona for each character. Jewel is seen as the youngster who despises his mom essentially the most. According to page 19 of the novel, Anse states that Jewel “got no affection” towards Addie and that he never did. Anse further reveals his distaste over Jewel’s remedy of his mom when he says, “It’s little enough for him to do for her.” Anse’s words uphold the notion that Jewel will do anything regardless of whether it’s disrespectful or to not his late mom. Faulkner would do this for characters who also didn’t have a significant function within the story. For example the daddy of Dewey Dell’s child, Lafe was presented in a sure method without his character having his personal platform. When Dewey Dell was trying to buy medication for the unwanted pregnancy with ten dollars, the pharmacist was slandering Lafe. Moseley informed Dell that if she wished the drugs that he wished Lafe “would have come for it himself”, so he can have a sliver of respect for him (pg.202). Lafe is already being interpreted as a person that doesn’t take accountability for his actions or as somebody who offers the bare minimal. Him not accompanying Dell shows the store owner that he shouldn’t take her significantly since her own lover doesn’t. Every character within the story shows no compassion in one occasion or another. William Faulkner does a classy job of offering three-dimensional characters in a fictional world. The reactions are real and pure for the character that’s talked about. The direct characterization made it easy to understand the character and their true nature.

Title Analysis:

The title offers off a mysterious, cryptic feeling. The character that was in Faulkner’s thoughts was Addie Bundren. As I Lay Dying looks as if a reference to her experiences. For instance, as she lay dying she watched on as her older son constructed her coffin. As she lay dying, she watched her family collect round her deathbed. As she lay, dying buzzards crammed the sky. The title was meant for Addie. The message that’s being proven is that this e-book is inviting the reader into her world as she dies and as her kids accomplish her final death want.


As I Lay Dying is taken into account a piece of literary merit as a result of it supplies perception on the characters and on their interactions. The novel mentions necessary outdoors features such as, household, demise, and faith. It explores these factors via particulars which can’t be present in something other than literary advantage novels or performs. The novel will not be a basic since it isn’t a narrative that a lot of people recognize however it undoubtedly deserves a spot as a story that obtains literary advantage.

Effect on Me:

The story shocked me in this one prompt. On page 176, Addie said, “…people to whom sin is only a matter of phrases, to them salvation is simply words too.” This statement additional deepened my perception that folks will view things differently depending on how a lot it means to them. Some may view a scenario or object as one of the most priceless issues of their life and others wouldn’t even glance at it. It’s spectacular to know that individuals in the 1930s suppose the same method as most do within the current. Any book that leaves me shocked will all the time impact me as a result of I will keep in mind the words and precisely what I felt in that second.

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StudyScroll. (2021). As I Lay Dying Analysis [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 6 December, 2023]

"As I Lay Dying Analysis" StudyScroll, Dec 30, 2021. Accessed Dec 6, 2023.

"As I Lay Dying Analysis" StudyScroll, Dec 30, 2021.

"As I Lay Dying Analysis" StudyScroll, 30-Dec-2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 6-Dec-2023]

StudyScroll. (2021). As I Lay Dying Analysis. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 6-Dec-2023]

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