Addie Bundren In As I Lay Dying

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In the novel As I lay dying by William Faulkner, Addie Bundren is the reason everything happens. Without her death and revenge beyond the grave the book would not have a point. Her death is the catalyst that sets everything into motion and her spiteful revenge puts her family in jeopardy. Addie’s presence or lack thereof has a huge affect on the entire family and the trip to Jefferson. Her death left a physical mark upon the Bundren family, that would have never been put there if Addie hadn’t died.
Death is a overlying theme of As I lay dying, Addie’s death affects all of her children for good and for worse. Addie’s death catalyzes a ripple effect, at first, when she is declared dead, the reaction was very small. Vardaman chased off Peabody’s horses causing Peabody to be stranded at the Bundren farm. However, as the novel goes on the ripples become larger; therefore the reactions become larger. The death of Vardaman’s childhood, Darl’s sanity, and Dewey Dell’s innocence are all aftershocks from their mother’s death. “ My father said that the reason for living is getting ready to stay dead” (175). Moreover, even though Addie’s children didn’t physically die, her children all lost pieces of themselves along the way to Jefferson.
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Addie treated Jewel differently than the rest of her children and her other children, Darl especially, took noticed. Each of her children tried to prove their love to Addie in their own special way. Cash proved his love to Addie by building her coffin to her specific instructions, Darl proved his love to Addie by giving up his sanity, Jewel by saving her body from the flooded river and the burning barn, Dewey Dell by fanning her as she lay dying and finally, Vardaman proved his love by chasing off Peabody’s horses. Addie’s children loved her very much, however, she did not love them in the same way. Addie

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