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As I Lay Dying

As I Lay Dying

by William Faulkner

As I Lay Dying Analysis

Literary Devices in As I Lay Dying

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Cash and Dewey Dell look over to the sign. Get it, New Hope Church? What is each of the characters’ hopes now? We know Dewey Dell is praying for an abortion, but what is Cash thinking as they...

Setting

Faulkner uses this fictitious county for many of his novels, including Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom!, and The Unvanquished. The details of Yoknapatawpha remain constant throughout these wor...

Narrator Point of View

Wow. There must be a reason for such a crazy narrative technique, right? Let’s start with a little passage from Cash Bundren:Sometimes I ain’t sho who’s got ere a right to say whe...

Genre

Faulkner’s novel fits neatly into the beginning of literary modernism. At a time when normal literary conventions were no longer in vogue, writers like Faulkner pushed the envelope with exper...

Tone

At times this book is funny, other times it’s just plain sick, still other times it’s sad, and often it’s a combination of all three. Just think about Vardaman confusing his mothe...

Writing Style

You’re probably familiar with the literary term "stream of consciousness." If you’re not, relax, because it only means what it sounds like: a loosely-formatted babble of thoughts. If so...

What’s Up With the Title?

William Faulkner’s title comes from a favorite speech of his in Homer’s Odyssey, Book XI. Odysseus has traveled to the Underworld, essentially to get directions. Once there, however, he...

What’s Up With the Ending?

Surprise, surprise – Anse is a selfish jerk. We had our suspicions all along, and now we can be about 90% sure that this entire trip to Jefferson was about him getting his new teeth…and...

Tough-o-Meter

The path up is filled with switchbacks in this one. With 15 different narrators, Faulkner's narrative can throw you more curves than Nolan Ryan. Heck, even a dead woman gets her shot at telling thi...

Plot Analysis

Waiting for Addie’s deathThe first few chapters of As I Lay Dying explore many different perspectives, but all are focused around the same thing: Addie is dying. From Jewel and Darl debating...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Addie Bundren’s dying wish is to be buried in Jefferson.This last wish instigates the story arc of the novel, sending the Bundrens on their journey.Traveling to JeffersonThis is your classic...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Everyone waits for Addie to die. Then…she dies.The Bundrens’ journey to Jefferson is rough and full of obstacles, including the weather, sabotage from within the family, and general hat...

Trivia

William Faulkner comes from a long family line of influential Southern men including a plantation owner, a colonel, and a novelist. (Source) Faulkner wasn’t allowed into the American army be...

Steaminess Rating

As I Lay Dying tracks the journey of Anse, Jewel, Darl, Cash, Vardaman, and Dewey Dell en route to Jefferson to bury the late Addie. That makes five guys and one living woman in the family. Funny t...

Allusions

References to the The Bible pervade As I Lay Dying.Homer’s Odyssey (Check out "What's Up With The Title?")

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