William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

2018 Words9 Pages
William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying presents a broken family whose members are not all sound of mind. They all present different ways in which their sense of self can be viewed as broken. Even though there is no forefront hero depicted within the novel there is definitely evidence that suggests that some of the heroes are capable of heroic characteristics. Though there is rampant selfishness and immorality some redeeming qualities of the Bundren family shine through. The trait that most resembles a heroic quality can be traced within the selflessness within the novel. The acts of selflessness can then be traced within the three eldest Bundren brothers Jewel, Cash and Darl. Jewel Bundren is not a man of words and only has one vocal chapter in the novel. His heroic selflessness stems not from how he expresses himself but instead from his actions. Jewel Bundren is often described as wooden and disconnects his emotions from both the other characters in the novel as well as the reader. Though he is cold, Jewel balances his outward appearance with selfless actions. Jewel’s only emotional connection his family is through Addie. It is because of this connection that drives him relentlessly forward with the mission. He shows dedication to his family when he searches valiantly for Cash’s tools after the river crossing. Jewel is motivated through his connection to Addie to connect to his family. Finally, he is so devoted to delivering his mother towards Jefferson to the point that he
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