Addie's Revenge Essay

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Addie's Revenge

In William Faulkner's novel "As I lay Dying" the reader learns about each character through the eyes of that person so to speak. Most of the important characters minds are revealed through the unique personalities and idiosyncrasies of the Bundren family, and those they encountered. One of the characters is Addie Bundren, the matriarch of the clan, and the person who's death this story moves upon. Although Addie is dead for most of the book, Faulkner still shows Addie's feelings and attitude in a chapter in which she seemingly speaks from the dead. From this scene we learn about Addie's personality. As a whole Addie is a pessimistic and unfulfilled woman, who marries the ignorant Anse Bundren on a whim. Addie
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This totally varying portrayal still garnishes the same sub- conscious feelings of sympathy from others that don't know Anse. This ability of Anse helps combat an aspect of Addie's plan. This aspect of the plan was that Addie would make Anse suffer through the indignity of carrying around her dead stinking carcass. A good example is when the family is well on their way to Jefferson and stop in the city of Mottson. While stopping in the middle of the street they were told to leave because of the smelling rotting carcass by the Marshal of the town. In this scene it seems as if Addie's plan is working to perfection as everyone looks at Anse as country fool from Yoknapatawpha county until; Anse starts to weave his sad tear-jerking tale of the family's tragic trip to carry out his dead wife's last wish. While the story is being told, one gets the feeling the Marshal, and the storyteller, Albert, have totally soaked up Anse's story and were totally immersed it's content. That is until Jewel comes and in and, true to his role as the protector of Addie's revenge, tells Anse to "shut up". Even though Anse is stopped in mid-flow by Jewel, the Marshal definitely loses his edge in expelling the Bundren clan. This certainly shows how Anse overcomes the indignity of the burden of Addie, by lulling the marshal to sleep with his tale. Another aspect of Addie's revenge was the fact that this trip was so time-consuming. This would definitely make Anse do some work.


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