Study Guide

As I Lay Dying Essay

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Jeffrey M. Lilburn is a graduate student at McGill University and the author of a study guide on Margaret Atwood's The Edible Woman as well as numerous educational essays. In the following essay, he explores the comic and tragic aspects of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying.

As I Lay Dying, Faulkner's first published novel after The Sound and the Fury, is comprised of fifty-nine sections or monologues told from the perspective of fifteen different speakers. Every member of the Bundren family narrates at least one section, in addition to various members of the community and onlookers who witness the journey from a more objective position. Because there is no central, omniscient narrator to make easy transitions from section to section, the variety of narrative voices provide the reader with multiple, sometimes conflicting perspectives. The result is a novel that can, at times, leave the reader a bit...

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This section contains 1,648 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the As I Lay Dying Study Guide
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As I Lay Dying from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.