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Polyperspectivity In William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

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4. William Faulkner's “As I Lay Dying” is brilliant in it’s use of disrupted narrative, but also in it’s pioneering use of polyperspectivity. Indeed, the polyperspectivity was the crux of the novella. First, it engendered the same confusion that the family felt with the loss of Addie. For many readers, this would make the novella a difficult read, as people tend to have problems with being taken up into a story, as faulkner intended. Second, it allows one to experience the return to normalcy (or the opposite, seen in the foil of Darl) that each character experiences, from their own point of view. This gives us a much more in depth view of each character's particular neurotic tendencies. Finally, the masterful use of polyperspectivity allows…show more content…
Flannery O'Connor is one of America’s best Catholic writers, by a wide margin. In, “The Life You Save May Be Your Own”, she goes to great lengths to portray catholic concepts, especially the fall of man to sin. At the beginning of the story, we can see Tom Shiftlet as a man who is very concerned with his own “moral intelligence”, showing that he is open to the love of God. However, right away, hints har given to show that he could also reject God. When he is first described, he wears black, traditionally representing the christian adversary, as well as a disconnection from God more generally. In addition to this, he forms his body into a cross in front of the sun, however it is lopsided and incomplete due to his missing arm. Immediately (though he seems to care little for money) it is obvious that he lusts after Lucynell Crater’s automobile. Mrs. Crater offers to give him a place to stay and feed him, in exchange for work around the farm. However, lest one think that Mrs. Crater is saintly, she is mostly of the hope that Shiftlet will marry her deaf daughter. This forms one of the main interplays of the story, in that both characters have something the other wants, and both know it. This produces quite witty and interesting dialogue throughout. Lucynell the younger, it should be pointed out, is portrayed to be the perfect woman for the man. Indeed, she seems to represent more than simple innocence, but a gift from God. In the end, Mrs. Crater trades the truck for her daughter's hand in marriage, in her mind, winning her salvation. Shiftlet takes the car and Lucynell the younger for a honeymoon. They stop to get food, and Lucynell manages to fall asleep on the table, after which Shiftlet leaves her. Thus he has sealed his fate through rejecting the goodwill of God in the name of freedom in true luciferian fashion. The car has previously been likened to a casket and a coffin, through Mrs. Crater and Mr. Shiftlet conversations. It has now become his casket,
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