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As I Lay Dying

As I Lay Dying


by William Faulkner

As I Lay Dying Suffering Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Section.Paragraph) Every "section" is marked by a shift in narrative point of view.

Quote #1

I strike. I can hear the stick striking; I can see it hitting their heads, the breast-yoke, missing altogether sometimes as they rear and plunge, but I am glad.

"You kilt my maw!"

The stick breaks, they rearing and snorting, their feet popping loud on the ground; loud because it is going to rain and the air is empty for the rain. (13.9-11)

Each member of the Bundren family reacts to suffering in a different way. Here, Vardaman wants to blame it on someone or something, like Peabody’s horses.

Quote #2

When we are going out, Whitfield comes. He is wet and muddy to the waist, coming in. "The Lord comfort this house," he says. "I was late because the bridge has gone. I went down to the old ford and swum my horse over, the Lord protecting me. His grace be upon this house." (20.26)

Whitfield seems to have no trouble crossing the bridge – the same crossing which will later devastate the Bundrens. Faulkner suggests that suffering is meted out unjustly, given that Whitfield is a hypocrite and a coward. (He preaches fidelity but has had an affair; he is too afraid to admit his action to Anse.)

Quote #3

"He ain’t never been beholden to no man," he says. "I rather pay you for it." (29.36)

Jewel, like his father, is willing to make sacrifices on behalf of his pride.

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