Cognitive Dissonance In William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

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Cognitive Dissonance “People tend to seek consistency in their beliefs and perceptions. So what happens when one of our beliefs conflicts with another previously held belief? The term cognitive dissonance is used to describe the feelings of discomfort that result from holding two conflicting beliefs. When there is a discrepancy between beliefs and behaviors, something must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance,” (Cherry, What Is Cognitive Dissonance?). In As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, Jewel is indeed an exceptionally free character; he behaves extremely harshly with the other characters. Jewel irrefutably repudiates his sentiments and feelings numerous times, as he does with the horse in one of the sections of this novel. He unquestionably is a conflicting man, who has numerous conflicting emotions, and parallels can certainly be drawn between Jewel and Festinger’s psychological theory of Cognitive Dissonance. As the Cognitive Dissonance theory clarifies that it is a psychological discomfort or stress to someone who holds more than one contradictory convictions, thoughts, or qualities, Jewel fits into that classification. He is exceptionally harried by his opposing thoughts and emotions, which drives him to carry on numerous negative discourses with the other characters in this plot due to the…show more content…
As Darl later states in the novel, “Jewel’s mother is a horse,” he is establishing that Jewel’s relationship with his horse is just like his relationship with his mother. Jewel ultimately had the most weakest relationship with his mother. He was not appreciative nor respectful to his mother. However, profound inside Jewel cherished and loved his mother like no other. Much like Jewel’s relationship to his horse, he as well displays a contradictory relationship of both violent outbreaks and unconditional love toward his mother, Addie. ("Cliff
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