As I Lay Dying
by William Faulkner
As I Lay Dying Theme of Mortality
As I Lay Dying suggests that dying is a relief from the suffering of life. Religious characters in the novel believe that, because death is a reward, it provides the motivation to live one’s life well. Get done everything you need to get done, and you’ll be granted…death. The physical process of death is a large part of the novel as well, however, so mortality is far from glorified. The smell of a rotting corpse hangs on every chapter, reminding the reader that death is both spiritual and visceral.
Questions About Mortality
- How does Addie maintain a presence in the novel even after her death?
- Which character has the healthiest reaction/deals best with his mother’s death? Which characters are unable to process the event?
- How does Addie’s death shape the way that those outside the family view the Bundrens?
Chew on This
Death is the only relief from suffering in As I Lay Dying.