Household and Communication in “As I Lay Dying”
This book does not have a defined point-of-view. Each chapter includes narrative from among the various characters in the book, including Addie herself. The storytellers consist of relative, pals, acquaintances, and some observers. Each storyteller supplies a various viewpoint on people and events. This element of the novel is maybe the most crucial one because it makes the book special and at the very same time it makes it vibrant, considering that we learn about the background of the family members and about their experiences from a various viewpoint in each chapter.
Indeed, at times the reader can only discern events by comparing details from different storytellers. It also stresses a major style in the novel: every character is essentially separated from the others. Additionally, the characters in the novel do not interact successfully with one another. Adding to this, when they do interact, they only do it through banal statements; we never witness any external expression of emotion, we just observe their inner ideas. Misunderstandings ensue due to this absence of communication between the member of the family.
We have Anse, the patriarch, a self-centered, lazy, and hypocrite male with a bad language, and the 3 sons and daughter he had with Addie: Cash, Darl, Vardaman and Dewey Dell. Then there’s Gem, who’s the illegitimate lovechild of Addie and the town reverend, but nobody understands this. But out of all these characters, including Vernon and Cora Tull (their next-door neighbors) and Dr. Peabody, the protagonist is, in my viewpoint, Addie. Despite the fact that she just narrates one chapter and she’s dead throughout the majority of the book, her death and her body in a casket act as literary devices to provide incentive to the plot and to the character’s internal thinking.
To some family members, like Money and Gem (Addie’s favorites), the journey to Jefferson to bury her is out of pure commitment, but to others, it’s a journey with ulterior motives; for Anse, to get new teeth and for Dewey Dell, to get a prohibited abortion. These complexities might appear tragically comic and paradoxical in the beginning, however if offered more thought, they appear more troubling than anything. Among the most disturbing features of this book is the characters of Darl and Vardaman and their consistent questioning of identity.
While Vardaman attempts to deal with death by recognizing his mom to a dead fish, Darl goes deeper into it by questioning his own existence, isolating himself more from others and falling into insanity. Among the concerns the novel seems to raise is if whether communication is of relevance or not in our lives, and after ending up reading this book, I can say it absolutely is, whether we like speaking with each other or not. Also, although this novel includes death, abortion and an inefficient household, Faulkner’s option of tone is quite defying: a dark, humorous tone, often paradoxical.
Possibly the most outrageous moment is by the end of the novel when, after all the family has withstood and lost, Anse has actually already gotten a brand-new better half days after Addie has actually been buried. This kind of turn of events makes it difficult to draw out some sort of lesson out of the book. However asides from humor, Faulkner uses another literary device, the “stream-of-consciousness” technique, most especially during Vardaman’s and Darl’s tirades. Through these passages, we dig deep into Faulkner’s examination of the human mind and we find that it is an extensive and intricate thing, practically mysterious.
Still, are all of us predestined to end up like Darl, in a psychological asylum, simply by questioning a few of life’s intricacies? Prior to we even think to boggle our heads with our own identity, I learned we should initially have some sort of self-assurance so we do not lose a sense of self if we discover something undesirable about ourselves in any personal mental examination. If one does find anything unlikable, simply thinking about individuals like the Bundrens is enough to cheer one up.