Importance Of Motherhood In Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

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It is evident in Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying that both of the Bundren women, in their own way, reject typical social norms for women in the south. Firstly there is the common theme of maternity in As I Lay Dying, both Addie and Dewey Dell have to face motherhood, although neither is taken with the idea, Addie refers to to the children as “violating [her] aloneness”(172) while Dewey Dell repeatedly attempts to get an abortion throughout the novel. Motherhood would make life unmistakably harder for Dewey Dell, and Addie when given the chance, reflects upon how maternity changed her “when I knew that I had Cash, I knew that living was terrible and that this was the answer to it”(171), but furthers her statement “I gave Anse the children. I did…show more content…
In her monologue she struggles with the "natural" link between sexuality and childbearing which…show more content…
However, in Joe Kovesdy’s article "Dewey Dell In Faulkner 's AS I LAY DYING" Kovesdy argues that Dewey Dell does in fact play a part in defying the social norms for women in the south the time, albeit rather clumsily and unintentionally: “Dewey Dell’s failure to take on her mother’s kitchen duties and cook a fish for the family subtly conveys resistance to traditional notions of women serving men”(262). This perspective directly challenges the views of the aforementioned Jill Bergman, who nearly disregards Dewey Dell entirely focusing rather on Addie’s perspective, and both present a fascinating look at this character, the fact that both authors can garner a different response from the book proves just how complex Dewey Dell is as a character. Of all of the Bundren children, Dewey Dell is perhaps the most tragic, and the most forgotten. Even Addie acknowledges her disregard for the only other female in the family “I gave Anse Dewey Dell to negative Jewel”(176), Dewey Dell is a negative, a non existing part of the equation. And this is who Dewey Dell is throughout most of the novel: non existent. Dewey Dell’s non-existence while still living is almost the antithesis of Addie Bundren looming over her family after
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