As I Lay Dying Essay

Decent Essays
The action of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying is simple: Addie Bundren dies; and in answer to her wishes, the body is taken for burial to Jefferson, some forty miles away. But the weather intervenes, and floodwaters require that the cortege take detours. Some nine days pass before the coffin, which before long clearly announces its passing to neighboring places, is finally laid to rest. These days involve battling flood water and a fire set by one of the children, the threat of buzzards, the hazards of a broken leg, and other incidental losses and disasters.

In the end, after Addie is buried, her bereaved husband appears with the second Mrs. Bundren. She brings with her a gramophone as dowry, and the Bundren family is once again
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But Cash, the first-born, who arrived before the dissolution of Addie's love and trust, proves a reliable, practical, and a sensible person; in a sense the folk-hero of the novel.

Cash's birth was the dividing line in Addie's relationship with her husband. She now knew "that we had had to use one another by words like spiders dangling by their mouths from a beam."(AILD pg.172). But she is further embittered in the second birth: "Then I found that I had Darl... It was as though Anse had tricked me, hidden within a word like within a paper screen and struck me in the back through it".(AILD pg.172) Her bitterness over the trick is translated into hostility for Darl, who becomes the most vocal, the most strangely upset, and eventually destructive member of the family. His acts and his words are both desperate stratagems to assert himself as a member of the human race and of the family.

The rhetoric of Darl's words and the violence of his acts are a direct result of the circumstances of his birth.At this point Addie fully realizes "how words go straight up in a thin line and how terribly doing goes along the earth, clinging to it, so that after a while the two lines are too far apart for the same person to straddle from one to the other."(AILD pg.173) She severs all meaningful relationship with her husband, "And then he died. He did not know he was dead."(AILD pg.174) and she has an affair with the
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