Essay on As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

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As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner is presented to the reader in a stream of consciousness narration style told from fifteen points of view, which each chapter is narrated by one character. Faulkner engages the reader to form multiple interpretations and at times they are conflicting. The novel is centered around one character, Addie, who has just passed away. However, Addie only has one chapter in the novel but the fact that she has already passed away makes her section even more significant. Addie is an individual trapped in a patriarchal world that suppresses and silences her. Generalizing Addie without exploration into her character counteracts the way in which Faulkner has chosen to signify her and the gender roles she is …show more content…
This quote from Cixous's Castration or Decapitation shows that there is a symbolic order that dominates the world of language. In Addie's case, it is important to point out that she is aware of the constraints of language that are set forth by the patriarchal world. Several literary theorists, such as Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Hélène Cixous, Jeanie Forte, and Julia Kristivia view language and the simple act of speaking as male dominated and constructed, thus rejecting women. Forte describes Jaques Lacan's view of language as, "power relationships are determined by the symbolic order, a linguistically encoded network of meaning and signification that is internalized with the acquisition of language" (Forte, 220). We are aware that there is an intrinsic patriarchy, which Lacan sums up and calls this the "Name-of-the-Father." Language is a phallus wherein the men are subjects and women are objects. According to Lacan and Slavoj Žižek there is a symbolic order to language is phallocentric, which is relevant to Addie's role. In the symbolic order of linguistics, women are not included therefor they cannot use the power of language to express or define themselves. In an interview, Kristivia explains, "many women...complain that they experience language as something secondary, cold, foreign to their lives. To their passion. To their suffering. To

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