William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, Addie Bundren, english literature, Tull's mind, story, journey, narrative choices, passage, narrator, scene, characters
Faulkner has always pointed out that he wrote As I Lay Dying only in a few weeks, while he was still working on Sanctuary. A reference to the eleventh Song in Homer's Odyssey, the title right away foreshadows a Homeric epic. As part of the movement called stream of consciousness, Faulkner chose to tell his story using fifteen narrators, thus enabling the reader to plunge into each narrator's mind and discover their inner monologue.
So, As I Lay Dying is seen from fifteen different point of views and tells the story of a family's journey to take Addie Bundren, who has just died, to her final resting place, about forty miles from her farm. Although the rain has made the level of rivers rise, shaking bridges and turning the soil into sheer mud, the family outing sets in motion. This journey on a cart, with the coffin wobbling and the mother's corpse rotting little by little, is going to be quite ludicrous.
[...] It is obvious, from the very beginning, that William Faulkner aimed at showing the characters' low social status by writing in a very specific style. There are indeed many grammar mistakes when Tull tells the story, because the facts matter more than the way they are told. However, depicting a poor family from the Deep South of America, who doesn't make any effort to talk properly, is not the only reason why the author chose to use this style. Even if some sentences are long, or awkward, or grammatically incorrect, we understand them and we can easily picture the situation, which leads us to conclude that there is no need to build a convoluted language in order to convey comedy or emotions. [...]
[...] Symbolically, the family is stuck in the mud, trying to cope in order to avoid drowning. The scene also looks like a silent movie since characters do not do a lot of things except looking or gazing :it is not a coincidence if the term « look » (whether as a noun or as a verb) is used about eleven times in this short passage. Moreover, synonyms like « watch » (repeated twice between lines 10 and 12) insists on the frozen aspect of the characters. [...]
[...] Thus, as he « unravels » the language, Faulkner adds poetry to his story. Tull, (as well as the other characters in the other chapters), offers the reader the thread of his thoughts just the way they appear in his consciousness and does not bother with anything else except the facts : it is obvious for example in the sentence starting line 10 : « The boy was watching the bridge where it was mid-sunk and logs and such drifted up over it and it swagging and shivering like the whole thingwould go any minute, big-eyed he was watching it, like he was to a circus » : The length of the sentence, along with the repetition of « and » and the verbs with -ing show that the syntax is not important to the author (nor to Tull). [...]
[...] As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner (1930) - Chapter 31 Faulkner has always pointed out that he wrote As I Lay Dying only in a few weeks, while he was still working on Sanctuary. A reference to the eleventh Song in Homer's Odyssey, the title right away foreshadows a Homeric epic. As part of the movement called stream of consciousness, Faulkner chose to tell his story using fifteen narrators, thus enabling the reader to plunge into each narrator's mind and discover their inner monologue. [...]
[...] The guy is one of the many characters the Bundrens meet along their way. In Tull's inner monologue, we are first going to discover the scene, through Tull's eyes, as a comical and even burlesque scene worthy of a circus show. We'll then ponder over the meaning of Faulkner's style and narrative choices in order to answer, finally, the following question: why is this passage representative of a new style in American literature? I - Tull as the narrator: his vision of the Bundrens In the first paragraph, the father, Anse, is seen as « looking like a uncurried horse dressed up », which doesn't mean anything actually, or pictures him at least as a clown. [...]
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