As I Lay Dying Essay

As I Lay Dying Essay

Length: 1455 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

As I Lay Dying


In reading the novel As I Lay Dying, many questions arose in my mind. However, the one that plagued me was the question that I could not pin down. All of the characters in the book have a personality and play a certain role in the tale. However, the one character who fascinated me, yet I could not explain was Cash. Is Cash a bigger player in the novel than it appears on the surface? I believe he is. Cash is the cog in the family that keeps the others from spinning away. Cash becomes, throughout the course of the novel, the patriarchal figure in the novel. He is thrust in to this position through his words, actions, and Anse's total lack of leadership. Cash becomes that patriarch. Diligence. Definition: " Close application, perseverance." "We can hear the sawing on the board. It sounds like snoring," (9). This quotation is a summation of Cash working on the coffin. Quotations such as these are thick in the beginning of the story. In fact, his work provides a backdrop the turmoil of the action which precedes the Burdens' departure. His work is constant through Jewel and Darl going for wood, Addie's actual death, and the search for a wagon to name a few problems. We are constantly reminded of the droning saw in the back ground. Additionally, we are also told of Cash's attention to the details. He is totally focused on his work. The work on the coffin is a metaphor for Cash's diligence throughout the novel. It becomes a template for many of Cash's actions throughout the story. Cash is the one member of the family who has something to do and does it well. In his words, "It is better to build a tight chicken coop, than a shoddy courthouse," (234). By this he means that it is better to do a good job on all projects t...


... middle of paper ...


... like in a person. He is strong and appears to be intelligent. He seems to posses a logic that is missing in all the rest of the characters in this novel. I have already discussed the specific qualities that makes Cash the patriarchal center of his family; courage, diligence, and pragmatism. However, we need to realize that he is the only figure who has compassion and real understanding of people. For example, he understands Darl's actions, Anse's slow moving ways (259), Vernon's possessiveness of his mules, and Jewels' hard work at night to buy his horse. The makeup of Cash's personality and person give him the ability to head his family. It is Cash who is the motor that gets things done in the novel. It is as if the family is in a centrifuge and Cash creates the gravity that glues the group together. Cash, not Anse, is the true patriarch and leader of the family.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about As I Lay Dying : Anse Bundren

- As I Lay Dying : Anse Bundren Anse Bundren is one of the most exceptional characters in “As I Lay Dying”. He was the husband of Addie Bunden. In the Story, he portrayed himself as being a very selfish individual. During his journey to the burial site of his wife, he always was worrying about his well being before the family’s well being. The only reason that he decided to carry out Addie’s wish was that he wanted to improve his image by getting false teeth. He did care for his wife, but this caring was overshadowed by his love to improve himself....   [tags: As I Lay Dying]

Free Essays
407 words (1.2 pages)

Truth Revealed in As I Lay Dying Essay

- Truth Revealed in As I Lay Dying     Addie Bundren conjures up the central darkness derived from her death and directly or indirectly causes actions in which each Bundren character takes advantage of Addie. With the character's actions revolving around her death, William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying reveals the truth about the people who surround a person may take advantage of him or her.  The death of Addie Bundren shapes all of the character's actions in life including Addie's final request before her death.  Addie takes advantage of her death by using it for revenge and inflicting final pains upon some characters, while the other characters use her to get what they want for their persona...   [tags: As I Lay Dying Essays]

Free Essays
1326 words (3.8 pages)

As I Lay Dying Essay: The Characters

- The Characters in As I Lay Dying The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail. (excerpt-Faulkner's Nobel Prize acceptance speech)     Analyzing character in a Faulkner novel is like trying to reach the bottom of a bottomless pit because Faulkner's characters often lack ration, speak in telegraphed stream-of-consciousness, and rarely if ever lend themselves to ready analysis.  This is particularly true in As I Lay Dying, a novel of a fragmented and dysfunctional family told through fragmented chapters.  Each character reveals their perspective in different chapters, but the perspectives are true to life...   [tags: As I Lay Dying Essays]

Strong Essays
1402 words (4 pages)

Essay about William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

- William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying      In his book, As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner pioneers new and interesting literary forms. His most obvious deviation from traditional novel writing was the new style of narration in which he used all the main characters as the narrator at one point or another. This allowed the reader to gain insight into the character’s thoughts, and also to prove very interesting and entertaining. Faulkner also ignores all boundaries that sane people have placed upon the English language to keep it readable....   [tags: Lay Dying Faulkner Essays]

Strong Essays
986 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

- William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying Works Cited Missing      Fulfilling a promise they had made to their mother, Addie, Cash, Darl, Jewel, Dewey Dell, and Vardaman, in William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, journey across the Mississippi countryside to bring her body to be buried in Jefferson, alongside her immediate family. Each one, in turn, narrates the events of this excursion as they are perceived. Though all of the family members are going through the same experiences, each one expresses what they see and how they feel by exercising their individual powers and limitations of language....   [tags: Lay Dying William Faulkner Essays]

Free Essays
1179 words (3.4 pages)

The Themes of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying Essay

- William Faulkner in his book "As I Lay Dying" portrays a Mississippi family which goes through many hardships and struggles. Faulkner uses imagery to illustrate an array of central themes such as the conscious being or existence and poverty among many others. From the first monologue, you will find and indulgence of sensual appeal, they are a strong aspect through out the novel. Each character develops stronger and stronger by their passages. One of the themes in As I Lay Dying is a Human's relations to nature, Faulkner uses imagery in the sense that he relates some the character to animals....   [tags: As I Lay Dying Essays]

Strong Essays
1001 words (2.9 pages)

As I Lay Dying Essays: The Dysfunctional Family

- After reading As I Lay Dying, I was unsettled by something. It wasn't the plot, although As I Lay Dying had a singularly bizarre storyline. During the action of the novel a mother dies, and her family embarks upon a disaster ridden journey in order to fulfill her last wishes. The eldest son breaks his leg, the family has to sell or mortgage practically all it's worldly goods, and Jewel risks his life twice in order to get his mother's body to Jefferson. Why has Disney not snatched up the film making rights to this singular testament to Bundren family's love and dedication....   [tags: As I Lay Dying Essays]

Free Essays
956 words (2.7 pages)

Alienation in As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner Essay

- William Faulkner is an American novelist whose major work is As I Lay Dying. Faulkner gave each of his characters traits that are expressed throughout the story.  The reader is introduced to each character through their detailed and descriptive character traits.  We are able to delve into the character's mind and see their personal and distinct traits. He did not tell us anything about the characters, but he takes us into the mind of each character to analyze what we see there. Even though these characters lead parallel lives we can see the total alienation and breakdown of the relationships between each other.  Darl, Jewel, and Anse possess character traits that contribute to or cause the b...   [tags: As I Lay Dying Essays]

Strong Essays
1733 words (5 pages)

William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying Essay

- “The past is never dead. It's not even past.” ― William Faulkner In William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, characterization, specifically through the multitude of narrators, transforms an otherwise pedestrian plot into a complex pilgrimage to the truth. As I Lay Dying is told from the perspective of fifteen different characters in 59 chapters (Tuck 35). Nearly half (7) of the characters from whose perspective the story is narrated are members of the same family, the Bundrens. The other characters are onlookers of the Bundrens’ journey to bury their mother, Addie....   [tags: As I Lay Dying 2014]

Strong Essays
2408 words (6.9 pages)

Essay on Reactions to Death in Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying

- Reactions to Death in Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying Eventhough As I lay Dying is a story revolved around the death of a mother, Addie Bundren, the true content of the story develops from information given to the audience through a multitude of narrators. The relationship between each family member and their association with Addie's death differentiates from person to person. Through her husband, Anse, we are introduced to his philosophy that man should keep stationary. Anse explains, "The lord put roads for travelling; why he laid them down flat on the Earth....   [tags: Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying]

Free Essays
447 words (1.3 pages)