As I Lay Dying Animal Symbolism Analysis

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Animals are the most used symbols in As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. Animal symbolism is a common theme throughout many novels. William Faulkner uses symbolism to relate to ways characters look at each other. Faulkner uses animal imagery to illustrate the theme respect in the book As I Lay Dying. For example, shortly after the death of Addie, her youngest son Vardaman compares her dead mother with the fish he had caught. In the same way, for Darl, Jewel's horse is his mother. Finally the cow, which is swollen with milk, is a symbol of Dewey Dell. Faulkner connects his theme of religion and how it can be hypocritical to the characters.

Animals are most used symbols in As I Lay Dying. Immediately after the death of Addie, her youngest son Vardaman compares her dead mother with the fish he has caught. The fish died when he caught and he relates the condition of his mother to the poor fish. Here the fish is the symbol of Addie for Vardaman. “I will be where the fish was, and it all cut up into not-fish
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He finds the resemblance of Addie in the horse of Jewel and Jewel's love to her mother. “I told him not to bring that horse out of respect for his dead ma, because it wouldn’t look right, him prancing along on a durn circus animal and her wanting us all to be in the wagon with her that sprung from her flesh and blood, but we hadn’t no more than passed Tull’s lane when Darl begun to laugh” (Faulkner). Jewel's relationship with his horse symbolizes his decision to separate himself from the rest of the family. Although Jewel is not biologically a child of the family, he emphasizes his desire to remove himself from the family through creating a strong relationship with the horse. “Faulkner uses horse as objects to connect and or reveal characters inner feelings” (Tebbetts). This clearly shows that Darl is putting his feelings and emotion towards this horse pretending as if it is his

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