Essay about Analysis of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

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William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying examines the connections and disconnections between speech, silence, and the meaning of words. However, having words is as good as having no words because the characters in this book, especially the members of the Bundren family, use words that obfuscate their true emotions. Faulkner uses his characters to portray speech as just another factor of nominalism and allows only silence to present the truth. Addie Bundren, even after death, is not completely silent through the trip to Jefferson. Her presence is an incessant reminder that words are “just shape[s] to fill a lack” (pg 172). For Addie, speaking doesn’t have an impact because “words are no good” (pg 171). She knows that “fear was invented by…show more content…
Darl expresses affection for his mother by just merely staring at her while she rests. While family members like Dewey Dell and Anse uses Addie’s death as an excuse to pursue their own selfish purposes, Darl just wants to free his mother from the confinement of the Bundren family. Darl is often viewed as an antagonist because he didn’t try to save Addie from neither the river nor the fire. His actions eventually lead the rest of the Bundren family to recognize him as crazy. Nevertheless, there is reason behind his behavior on the trip to Jefferson. When crossing the river, Darl describes his surrounding as “a scene of immense yet circumscribed desolation filled with the voice of the waste and mournful water” (pg 142). When Darl states “desolation filled with the voice of the waste”, he is offering an image of a funeral. The “voice of the waste” symbolizes cries of grief from those who’ve passed away and the “mournful water” symbolizes tears of sadness that have accumulated to create the river. The reason why Darl didn’t attempt to rescue the coffin was because the river seems to be an ideal burial place for Addie. Throughout the entire trip, Darl only considered the best options for his mother whereas other characters were too involved with personal gains. Silence seems to be the most authentic method of communication between
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