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As I Lay Dying

As I Lay Dying


by William Faulkner

Analysis: Steaminess Rating

Exactly how steamy is this story?


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 thing is, only one of the five guys ever mentions having a libido, and that’s Darl (who mentions his nighttime masturbation). Dewey Dell, the only woman left in the family, is pregnant throughout the entire span of the novel. She desperately looks for an abortion and is predictably taken advantage of for it. Aside from the cotton-picking session that caused this pregnancy problem in the first place, there’s really no sex to be found here. And in a novel in which women are little more than property or cattle, that might be a good thing.

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