Theme Of Poverty In As I Lay Dying

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Greed and Poverty: The effects on family in As I Lay Dying Aristotle once said that "Poverty is the parent of crime," and there could not be a more flawless quote that describes the theme of poverty in the novel "As I Lay Dying" by William Faulkner. The novel tells the story of the Bundren 's trip to Jefferson to bury their beloved mother and wife, Addie. However, Aristotle 's quote is ironic considering it is the best resemblance of Anse Bundren, the father and antagonist, of the novel. Anse is the reason the Bundren 's journey to Jefferson has turned into a disastrous adventure. The poverty-stricken Bundrens are continuously hit with problems that are difficult to solve because of greedy Anse, who imposed …show more content…
The first being Dewey Dell. While facing the problem of being pregnant and single, Dewey has to deal with the death of her mother, Addie. The selfishness of Anse not calling the doctor sooner resulted in the death of Addie, imposing many emotions on Dewey. Due to the importance of her own situation, Dewey Dell seems to be confined in herself after Addie dies because she has no time to grieve her mother 's death (Bloom, 225). She "wishes to have time to let her die". Emotional stress is displayed because Dewey did not have the time she needed to discuss her problem with her mother, and she did not get to receive the closure she would have liked. The Bundrens lack of money made Anse hesitate to call the doctor sooner, resulting in Addie 's death and Dewey 's emotions. However, we see greed come into play when Anse decides not to call and would rather his wife die than spend a little money. Secondly, Anse sells Jewels horse to get a new team of mules because he was not able to afford them, leaving Jewel hurt and angry. As he learns what Anse did, he becomes unhappy and confronts him. "You mean, you tried to swap my horse?" Anse response to Jewel resembles greed when he says " "I thought that if I could go without eating, my sons could go without riding. God knows I did." The decision that Anse made Jewel run off with the horse, leaving it at the Snopes ' place. We see an unexpected …show more content…
We first see psychological stress when he denies financial help from anyone. On their journey, they meet Samson and Rachel who offer them a place to sleep and eat. However, Anse denies by telling them "I thank you. We wouldn 't discommode you. We got a little something in the basket. We can make out." Anses ' response to the couple implies that he wants no help, which is ironic considering he wants to save money any way he can. It is also very selfish of him because he would rather deny help than give his children the proper care they need. Next, Anse gets annoyed many times due to the fact that he has to spend money on his family for medical reasons. For example, he makes comments like "And now I got to pay for it, me without a tooth in my head, hoping to get ahead enough so I could get my teeth" and "We 'll have to get some medicine at Mottson…. I reckon we 'll have to." These types of comments show poverty in the fact that he does not have the money to get the things they need, but, on the other hand, he would rather have new teeth than help his children. Finally, Anse discusses the difference between city and country people stating that " Nowhere in this sinful world can a honest, hardworking man make profit… Every man will be equal." Anse description displays the struggle of men and how he hopes that one day all me will make the same amount of money and be equal, no matter if they are from the

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