Essay on William Faulkner 's As I Lay Dying

1905 Words Nov 18th, 2016 8 Pages
Often in literature, characters embark on a physical journey from one place to another and along the way, they are usually presented with obstacles that they must overcome to reach their final destination. These obstacles along the journey give insight into who the characters truly are as well as offering unique bonding experiences for those taking the journey. In the end, they will usually reveal their true personality, grow as characters or grow closer to those accompanying them on the journey. This is not the case in William Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying. The characters behave quite differently than traditional literary characters in that they don’t grow wiser by the end of the journey. Instead, the physical journey taken by the Bundrens is used by Faulkner as a spotlight with which to highlight the Bundrens’ various character flaws as well as the family’s imperfections. Initially, the Bundrens appear to be a typical family dealing with the gradual, painful death of a loved one. However, not long after Addie dies and requests to be buried in Jefferson, it is revealed that the family is in fact extremely self-absorbed and are unable to show true love towards one another. Addie’s husband, Anse, is the first to speak up after her death. Immediately following her death, he says “’God’s will be done, […] Now I can get them teeth.” (52). In most cases, a husband will mourn the death of his wife but Anse offers Addie no such respect. Instead, his selfish nature leads him to…

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