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Addie herself was born an isolated and lonely soul, openly unloved by her family and rather strongly affected by the nihilistic philosophy of her father, who had taught her that the reason for living was no more than an extended preparation for death.
Addie felt that during her whole life she had been neglected, and when she married Anse, she hoped that through the violence of birth she could achieve an awareness of life and force her presence upon others.
She is dreadfully afraid of aloneness and through committing or participating in some type of violence feels less alone. Thus when she knew that she was pregnant, she felt that at last her aloneness had been penetrated, especially through the forthcoming childbirth. Cash had penetrated into her aloneness and had thereby given meaning to her life.
Cash is the firstborn and is at peace with the world and earth as he works on one level of consciousness, performing one task at a time, slow and calculating.
He was conceived as an act of violence, and his life reflects this in that he can express himself only through some type of action, such as the building of the coffin. Thus, there was no conflict between Addie and Cash. But soon after Cash's birth, Addie realized that words are not connected with violence and are useless.
Thus she decides to close herself to Anse, who represents only the ineffectuality of words. Only through violence, and not through words, can Addie feel that she is living.
But then, as she came to this conclusion, she discovered that she had Darl.
Thus Addie felt that somehow she had been tricked by Anse's words, and because she had been tricked, she could never accept Darl. The very fact that the words had tricked her was proof enough that Darl could never help violate her aloneness. And it is ironic that Darl is the one son who continually inquires into the intricacies and awareness of life.
Thus in later life, Darl, through his intricate thought-process, was able to sense that he was the unwanted and "motherless" child. In view of Addie's rejection of words and her subsequent rejection of Darl, it is ironic that Darl became the one character who depended the most on the value of words.
For ten years, Addie closed herself to Anse. She said that Anse was dead even though he did not know that he was dead. But after ten years, Addie met Whitfield, the preacher, and she saw in him the symbol of the violence that she had been seeking because the "garment which he had exchanged for sin was sanctified.
But both the love and the salvation have to be products of violence. In Jewel's life, this violence is displayed through the love and violent treatment of his horse, and the salvation is seen through his rescuing Addie's body from the river and the burning barn.
Thus Jewel, who was born as a result of Addie's desire for violence, responds to all events with violent and impetuous actions, and he seldom says a word except some violent oath or curse.
After the affair with Whitfield, Addie began to prepare for her own death.
She admits that she gave birth to Dewey Dell "to negative Jewel" and to Vardaman to "replace the child I robbed him of. She moves in an orbit of egoism, seeing each action only as it immediately affects her. And as with Anse, she cares only for herself and uses any amount of deceit to get her own way.Darl Bundren, a central character in As I Lay Dying, narrates 19 of the 55 interior monologues that comprise this tour de force.
With more monologues than any other character, Darl becomes in essence the spokesman for the work. This paper will focus on Darl Bundren’s interior monologues as they. Additional essays, such as Joseph Blotner's recollections of writing Faulkner's biography, are included under Faulkner Miscellany.
The As I Lay Dying.
James Franco's As I Lay Dying: A Scholarly Review Drs. Christopher Rieger and Ted Atkinson; Treasure in the Ground: Getting Mother's Body's Dialogue with As I Lay Dying.
Critical Essays Addie Bundren and the Birth of Her Children Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List Addie herself was born an isolated and lonely soul, openly unloved by her family and rather strongly affected by the nihilistic philosophy of her father, who had taught her that the reason for living was no more than an extended preparation for.
Essays and criticism on William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying - As I Lay Dying.
The coffin because a meeting point for everything dysfunctional the family experiences and laying it to rest is a critical step in their ability to return to normalcy. As I Lay Dying Themes and Symbols. Study Guide of As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner; Free Essays Online; A Classification of Character Types in Literature;.
Critical Essays Darl and Addie Bundren: A General Interpretation Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List (The following is a condensation of the article "The Individual and the Family: Faulkner's As I Lay Dying," by James L. Roberts, which appeared in The Arizona Quarterly (Spring ): , and is reprinted with permission.).