As I Lay Dying Studyguide Essay

2835 Words Dec 14th, 2011 12 Pages
AS I LAY DYING, William Faulkner Questions for Study

1. Which are the most intelligent and sympathetic voices in the novel? With whom do you most and least identify? Is Faulkner controlling your closeness to some characters and not others? How is this done, given the seemingly equal mode of presentation for all voices?
Darl is the most intelligent voice in the novel. He often seems to play the role of omniscient narrator, because he describes events that took place when he was not present. For example, he describes Addie’s death, even though he was not with her when she died. Darl appears to be the character that knows the most about what is going on and has the most consistent voice in the novel.
The character that seems to be the
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How does he manage to command the obedience and cooperation of his children? Why are other people so generous with him? He gets his new teeth at the end of the novel and he also gets a new wife. What is the secret of Anse’s charm? How did he manage to make Addie marry him, when she is clearly more intelligent than he is?
Anse manages to command the obedience and cooperation of his family by being the patriarch figure. His children respect him solely because he is their father and it is expected of them. He really has nothing going for him that would command respect. He doesn’t like to work hard or sweat, and is constantly blaming his problems on other people. I guess, he is a religious man, and so that may command some respect from them. People are generous with him because of his condition. He has a hunched back and no teeth, and so he has a lot of trouble doing things. The secret to Anse’s charm is that he always finds a way to get what he wants, even if it means manipulating others. Anse managed to make Addie marry him simply by asking her, they did not even get to know each other before hand.
6. Some critics have spoken of Cash as the novel’s most gentle character, while others have felt that he is too rigid, too narrow-minded, to be sympathetic. What does Cash’s list of the thirteen reasons for beveling the edges of the coffin tell us about him? What does it tell us about his feeling for his mother? Does Cash’s carefully reasoned response to Darl’s imprisonment

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