William Faulkner 's As I Lay Dying

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Noncommunication in As I Lay Dying William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying is a novel originally published in 1930 depicting a rural family of seven from Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, who are awaiting the impending death of the mother figure, Addie Bundren. She has procured a promise from her husband, Anse, to take her body to her hometown of Jefferson, Mississippi for burial, a forty-mile distance. Upon her death, the family places her body into a homemade coffin, loads it onto a mule-pulled farm wagon, and carts it to Jefferson in the July heat. Every inconceivable obstacle occurs during the journey magnifying the family’s dysfunctions to the point where the book borders on being comedic. Eventually, Addie gets interred in Jefferson; however, the journey brings the entire family’s imperfections and secrets to light. Dysfunctional verbal and physical communication amongst the Bundrens, most notably the parents, is a salient theme. Both Addie and Anse Bundren have opposing ways of demonstrating both actions and words that contributes to their dysfunctional marriage. Anse repeatedly uses language as a means of manipulation to coerce others to come to his aid when he bungles something, or when he evades his share of the work. Dewey Dell explains, “Pa dassent sweat because he will catch his death from the sickness so everybody that comes to help us” (AILD 26). Anse has suffered a heat stroke at age twenty-two, and the physician has told him not to sweat to avoid a similar
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