Women have it rough in As I Lay Dying. Their basic role in life is to have babies, which makes it difficult to establish a personal and individual identity, at least for one woman in particular. The novel also features a single, teenage girl pregnant with an unwanted baby. The difficulty of maintaining this secret while trying to get an illegal abortion is staggering. Meanwhile, shame and embarrassment seem to accompany any mention of the female body or female sexuality.
Addie is the strongest character in this book.