As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

December 16, 2008
By , Brooklyn, NY
In the novel, As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner explores human nature. In his work it is very evident that Faulkner is explicating the common nature of grieving, community, and family. The novel, As I Lay Dying, is about the Bundren family's journey after the mother, Addie Bundren's, death. This journey was both an intense physical and mental journey for each one of the family members. Everyone in the story, whether it is the Bundrens or the people in the community, each had a separate additive to this journey. The reader sees the characters strengthen and progress through these difficult times, which is exactly what it takes to get through a death.

In a time of grieving people come together to provide support for the mournful family and loved ones. The family is comforted with other's good words of the deceased. Even those that did not think highly of Addie Bundren had nice statements to recall of her. Cora, a woman in the community who always thought of Addie in a condescending manner, even had something to polite to say about Addie. People have different ways of respecting and honoring the deceased. Each family member have their own individual way of grieving; some honor Addie in the way they think best and some try to keep busy to forget the tragedy. For example, one of Addie Bundren's sons, Cash, flawlessly and precisely builds her coffin with her approval and inspection. While Anse, Addie's husband, tried to forget his sorrow and replace Addie by getting another wife and not talking of her death, not even to explain the occurrence to his young son, Vardaman.

The nature of a community is caring and helpful as long as others return the favor when needed; this can be different in a time of grieving. Anse constantly asked for favors and time extensions on owed work, but the community was willing to help the family in their time of need. “If theres'ere a thing we can do. (p 32)” is said by Cora to represent there willingness to help through the difficult occasion. The community is sympathetic for the Bundrens, but they feel like the family is almost to hopeless and pathetic to help out of the rut they are in. Narrations are made by community members outside the Bundren family to illustrate the family's odd qualities. “Well, folks are different. (p 23)” is said by Cora to show that the family is made up of very different individuals. On the other hand, individuals make up a family, and families make up a community so this situation can be explained as somewhat ordinary.





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