Notes on Objects & Places from As I Lay Dying

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As I Lay Dying Objects/Places

Yoknapatawpha: The Bundren family lives in Yoknapatawpha County, a small fictional town in Mississippi. Most of Faulkner's novels take place in this county, created from the imagination of Faulkner. It is rural, dirty, poor, and worn down, and is the source of much turmoil for many of Faulkner's characters. The majority of As I Lay Dying does not take place in the county; however, country life is always remembered as their soul and their home.

Jefferson: Jefferson is the town to which the Bundren family makes the pilgrimage and journey and is the capital of Yoknapatawpha County. Addie Bundren's family hails from this 'big city' and her wish is that she is buried with them within the city limits.

Coffin: The coffin in which the family places Addie Bundren is a homemade wooden box made by master carpenter and eldest son, Cash. He is persistently working on it throughout the first half of the novel and is devoted to creating an everlasting home for his mother which she will like and find comfort in. The coffin survives the wagon ride, water, drilling, and a barn fire.

Wagon: The old wagon is the home for the Bundren family on their journey from Yoknapatawpha to Jefferson. It is old, rickety, and decrepit, and miraculously survives the nine-day trip. Outsiders are stunned when they see the family pull up in such an old piece of wood and wheels.

New Hope: New Hope is one of the cities in which the Bundrens stop on their journey.

Mottson: Mottson is another town in which the Bundrens stop on their journey to Jefferson. While in Mottson, Dewey Dell visits a pharmacy, from which she is thrown out of for inquiring about an abortion and where Anse throws Darl on the ground in public for setting fire to the Gillespie barn.

Anse's teeth: Anse possesses an empty, sunken mouth devoid of teeth. He wants to get to Jefferson desperately so that he can buy himself false teeth. He eventually gets his wish at the conclusion of the novel.

Cora's cakes: Cora Tull bakes cakes at the beginning of the novel for a society event that is cancelled. She does not mind, for she has not lost money in the order. She brings the cakes to the Bundren's house when Addie passes away. Dewey Dell carries them throughout their journey to Jefferson.

Jewel's horse: Jewel is extremely possessive and passionate about his horse. He had spent his nights cleaning up a field in order to buy it with his own money. Anse takes the horse and trades it for a team of mules to bring the caravan to Jefferson.

Fish: Vardaman catches a fish on the day his mother dies and cuts it up and brings it inside to be cooked. However, because the blood of the fish is smeared all over him on the same day Addie passes away, he associates fish with his mother and believes her to be a fish for the remainder of the novel.

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