Faulkner’S Approach To Narrating His Novel As I Lay Dying

1227 WordsFeb 8, 20175 Pages
Faulkner’s approach to narrating his novel As I Lay Dying is very unique from the traditional one person narrator. His novel is set completely in first person, however the person speaking changes with every chapter. The narration ranges from the primary characters to those necessary to fill in holes. Difficulty arises for a character in first person to remain completely unbiased, especially since everything they communicate becomes tainted with their own perspective. The characters in his novel are extremely biased and constantly insert their opinions into the text, affecting the credibility of the given story. One of the most notoriously biased narrators in the novel is Cora Tull. In every scene, Cora inserts her will demanding the reader…show more content…
Another extremely biased character in this novel is Jewel. Through his crass and aggressive diction, Jewel makes it apparent that he does not approve of anything his family does and that he does not particularly care for the other members of his family. He is constantly speaking harshly towards them, ordering them to “shut up” or vociferating “goddamn you” to them. He accuses his family of being buzzards because he feels that they are all waiting for and wanting Addie to die. He says that Cash’s desire for Addie to pass is more blaring than the others because he dares to build her coffin directly beneath her window. Jewel’s aggressive attitude affects the meaning of the work of a whole because he aids the reader in creating opinions about the other characters. For example, his first narration clearly showed his antipathy towards his family members and molded the reader’s opinion of Cash. Until Jewel’s narration the reader had no knowledge of the fact that Cash was constructing a coffin, nor did they know why he was doing so. However, after hearing his narration it became an obvious fact to the reader that Cash was a heartless, stony character with no affection towards his dying mother. The reader did not develop a more endearing opinion of Cash until later in the novel, when another narrator showed that it was a personal sacrifice he was making that

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