Thematic Correlations Between As I Lay Dying And The Old Testament

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Since its original publication in 1930, the novel As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner has drawn much exploration and critique. Though this analysis is very far reaching and broad in topic, one interesting route of investigation is the novel's connection to the Old Testament. One does not have to be a Christian to study the similarities in theme; there are very many occurrences of biblical subject matter and correlation, these having been studied by student and scholar alike. The Old Testament is known commonly as the more historical part of the Bible; it sets up the background knowledge to the New Testament and gives readers an idea of the nature of the times. Many general themes of the Old Testament are reflected in the Bible as a whole, …show more content…
He was a product of Addie's infidelity to Anse, an act that was on Addie's mind until the day she died. The guilt she felt, even to the husband she had no love for, was so overwhelming that she produced both Dewey Dell and Vardaman to "negative" the sin that was Jewel's birth. Her self-worth was then so low that she felt she was ready to die after her recompense to Anse was finished. "And now he has three children that are his and not mine. And then I could get ready to die" (Faulkner 176). Addie had strong opinions on sin, as shown in her one chapter of the novel. She recounts an instance with her neighbor Cora Tull: "She prayed for me because she believed I was blind to sin, wanting me to kneel and pray too, because people to whom sin is just a matter of words, to them salvation is just words too" (Faulkner 176). Addie's sin with Jewel seems to perplex other members of the family through their journey to bury her; Darl's inability to mentally communicate with Jewel leads him to question Jewel's origin. Darl also seemed to put his views into the mind of Vardaman, though the poor neglected child was confused enough. Addie and Anse's relationship, as explained in Addie's narrative, has an obvious lack of intimacy, closeness, and meaningfulness. This can be seen as a sin inherited by their daughter, Dewey Dell. Her sexual curiosity and naïveté lead her to an unwanted pregnancy with a father, Lafe, who does not care about her.

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