As I Lay Dying
As I Lay DyingIn As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner slowly reveals the numerous characters of the book through portraying them in their own chapters. While the character is being revealed, they have control over how they are viewed. They inform the audience of what they want them to know and how they should feel about it. One character who exhibited this power was Addie Bundren. Through telling us selected events in her life, we only discovered the aspects of her personality that she wanted to reveal. The parts that she did reveal helped the reader to learn more of why she acted the way she did. In Addie’s only chapter in As I Lay Dying, her first-person narration revealed her true character and addressed the issue of abuse and its ramifications on her relationships with men.
Throughout Addie’s chapter, the readers learn how her relationship was with her father. Though their relationship seemed strong, problems were present throughout that could cause it to falter at any point. Addie seemed to admire her father, repeatedly quoting the lessons he engrained in her. “I could just remember how my father used to say that the reason for living was to get ready to stay dead a long time” (Faulkner 169). Even though she resented this advice multiple times, it shows up continuously that she took it to heart and believed in it. It is how she viewed her entire life, and how she approached her relationships with men. She was suffering through her life with her husband and her children so she could lie peacefully for the rest of her time.
Her relationship with her father was dominated by its faults. Even though Addie doesn’t specifically state the underlying problem, it is present with her views on other events in her life. For example, Addie revealed she was a schoolteacher before marrying her husband Anse Bundren. While teaching, Addie would most enjoy when the children would misbehave. “I would look forward to the times when they faulted, so I could whip them. When the switch fell I...