Study Guide

As I Lay Dying Religion

By William Faulkner

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Religion is in many ways mocked by As I Lay Dying. The story is an ironic twist of the classic quest – a journey without a purpose, confession without redemption. Divine justice is never just, as immoral men are rewarded with good luck while struggling devotees are destroyed with bad. The central religious figure of the novel – a minister – is a hypocritical adulterer who illegitimately fathers a son while preaching chastity and morality.

Questions About Religion

  1. What is the significance of Christianity and faith in this novel?
  2. Which characters are particularly religious? Which characters reference God or Christianity? Are they the better for it, or worse off because of their faith?
  3. What does the novel suggest about Faulkner’s view on religion?

Chew on This

In As I Lay Dying, women possess sincere religious beliefs, while men are hypocritical in their faith.

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