Study Guide

As I Lay Dying Essay

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In the following essay, Howe praises Faulkner for his ability to "blend extreme and incongruous effects - the sublime and the trivial, anguish and absurdity, a wretched journey through the sun and a pathetic journey toward kinship" in As I Lay Dying.

A story of a journey, an account of adventures on the road - this may be the outward form of the novel, but the journey proves exceedingly curious and the adventures disconcert. Having died while a son sawed her coffin beneath her window, Addie Bundren is carted away in the family wagon through the back roads of Yoknapatawpha. The family thereby honors her reiterated wish that she be buried in the Jefferson cemetery. Unwilling adventurers, the Bundrens can do nothing well; their journey, like their spiritual life, is erratic and confused. Prompted by awe for the dead, and by a cluster of private motives, they plod...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 4,917 words
(approx. 13 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.