Social Classes In As I Lay Dying

1710 Words7 Pages
Throughout history, there has always been a fracture between those of different social castes. Whereas these minute differences may at first seem inconsequential, they inevitably lead to a large division within the society. A prime example of this is the three-tiered system that was in place in pre-Napoleonic France. In this system, France was divided into those of the clergy, the nobility, and the peasantry, creating one of the most prominent class divisions in modern history. These divisions crippled France’s government and economy, and incited those of the lower class to revolt and attempt to balance the divide. In his novel As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner plays heavily upon this theme. In the novel, the primary protagonists are the Bundrens, an impoverished family living in the rural South who are constantly being put in bad situations. Additionally, they are consistently looked down…show more content…
Throughout the entire book the reader sees how the Tulls feel about the Bundrens and how they react to all of their questionable decisions. Cora Tull is particularly judgemental about the Bundren children and Dewey Dell specifically. She uses her Christian ideals and social status to portray Dewey Dell as less of a person than she is. In one specific example, when Cora is describing the state of affairs in the Bundren household, she comments on how Dewey Dell is behaving. Cora says, “and that near-naked girl always standing over Addie with a fan so that every time a body tried to talk to her and cheer her up, would answer for her right quick, like she was trying to keep anybody from coming near her at all“ (Faulkner 24). By saying this, Cora fully reveals herself as a character who believes herself above those around her, and proves that she believes that due to her status as a wealthier woman, she can treat others however she
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