As I Lay Dying and The Odyssey: Books of Epic Quests with Incredible Odds

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As I lay Dying and the Odyssey
As I lay dying and the Odyssey can both be considered books of epic quests with incredible odds. Faulkner takes the title of As I Lay Dying from a line spoken in the Odyssey by the Greek warrior Agamemnon. Agamemnon tells Odysseus when he travels to the Underworld, “As I lay dying, that woman with the dog’s eye would not close my eyes as I descended into Hades.” Both books give off extraordinary characters, with what some may call outlandish behavior, to possibly throw off the reader from what was expected in such a quest or journey. These two novels seem as to begin in the midst of all the tragedy and situations, using flashbacks and stories of the characters to relate back and give the reader insight of …show more content…

In another adventure, Odysseus lands on the island of the Greek goddess Circe who turns his men into pigs. Odysseus once again devises a way to cleverly defeat her, save his men, and return to the sea. After his encounter with Circe, Odysseus must journey into the underworld where he meets with his mother and some of his comrades from the Trojan War. ( Kleiner, David. The Odyssey. West Berlin, N.J.: Townsend Press, 2005. Print.)
There are many different symbols that link both books together. For Faulkner in As I Lay Dying he uses the Love triangle as Homer did in the Odyssey. From Addie to Anse to Whitfield in As I lay Dying, to Agememnon, to Clytemnestra, to Odysseus in the Odyssey. Along with Elyptsu in the Odyssey falling off the roof and dying, Cash falls off the Church roof and breaks his leg. Not only does Clytemnestra betray him to die at the hands of her lover, she refuses him the mere dignity of proper burial rites. Faulkner uses this same concept in As I Lay Dying, where Addie is denied proper burial by her children and own husband. Along with the dangerous crossing of the proverbial river. Darl is seen as a sort of Cassandra from the “Odyssey”, blessed with a second sight which most dismiss as simply “queer,” foreseeing the disaster at the river yet unable to stop it or do anything about it. (Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. Ed. Noel Polk. New York: Vintage

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