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A Critical Analysis of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying essays the characters' methods of communicating are many and vary, in some cases, depending upon the characters' relationships with one another.

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These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of As I Lay Dying. As I Lay Dying Analysis , for the purposes of a linguistic examination, the punctuated breaks.. As I Lay Dying Themes according to the mother, addie, words are bad and do not signify their designated meaning.


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Perfect for students who have to write As I Lay Dying essays. Alienation is another important theme of this novel. To intensify the theme of alienation, the author uses multiple narrators. The use of multiple narrator means basically all are isolated from each other and none agrees with the other's viewpoint. The lack of effective communication with one another keeps them locked inside themselves. The members of the Bundren family are indifferent from each other-whether intentionally like Addie or Jewel , innocently like Anse, Cash, Dewey Dell, or Vardaman , or painfully like Darl.

Though the reader is acquainted with the characters' thoughts and emotive responses, none of them sufficiently expresses his or her problems or wishes to others. Addie is a prominent instance of someone who both longs to surpass her isolation and at the same time stubbornly works to maintain a solid individuality. She violently imposes herself onto others without opening herself to them.

Likewise, she hates her children, except Cash and her favorite, Jewel.

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Her flaws highlight the fundamental force to maintain one's private self while longing to connect with others. The isolation of Darl is the most poetic and the most tragic one. He has a powerful innate quality to see other's secrets, but his sensitivity and brilliance isolate him from others. Many characters like Dewey, Jewel and Addie hate Darl because he intrudes on their isolation and their secrets are known to him. In the novel the meaning of Being and self is raised time and again by Darl and Verdaman.

Through Darl and Verdaman Faulkner explains the fluctuating nature of identity. When Addie dies, Verdaman cannot understand the difference between being 'is' and being 'was'.


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  • Verdaman goes on repeating his relationship with Darl and mother. He says, ''Darl is my brother,'' and ''My mother is a fish. For him, the process of being and identity is incomplete but progressing. But for Darl, the process of being and identity will never reach to the completion.

    Themes in Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

    The question of 'being' is so rooted in Darl's mind that he constantly mediate upon the difference between being and not being. Due to lack of his mother's love, he is alienated from not only others but also from himself. He expresses the differences between himself and Jewel when he says, ''I don't know what I am. I don't know if I am or not. Jewel knows he is, because he does not know that he does not know whether he is or not.

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    Language and its limitation are another significant theme in the novel As I Lay Dying. Faulkner is of the opinion that language is insufficient to express what we really feel and what we real meant to communicate. So, his most characters find it a great difficulty in communicating and they cannot employ right words in their narration. For Addie words are nothing, they are useless and they cannot be used in expressing one's emotions and ideas.

    So for her just actions count as words are detached from human emotions.

    Because if there is a God What the Hell is He for?

    The inner monologues of the novel exhibit that the characters have rich internal lives, but the exact rich content of these inner lives is not communicated between individuals. The conversations tend to be brief, hesitant, and unrelated to what the characters are thinking at the time.

    For example, when Tull and several other local men talk with Cash about his broken leg during Addie's funeral, two entirely separate conversations are presented in the novel. The one printed in normal type is vague and simple which is apparently the ongoing conversation.


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    The second, in italics, is richer in content and is the one that the characters would have if they actually spoke their minds.