As I Lay Dying


small towns and rural areas,families and moral value, american society are portrayed in as i lay dying. how does faulkner view these topics?

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hi there, I think I can answer how Falkner views family values (ie duty, obligation and loyalty) in As I Lay Dying:

Faulkner believes that family values (duty, obligation, loyalty) are important yet fragile. Family obligation is an important theme in the novel. The family is bringing Addie's body to Jefferson, to bury her as she wished to be buried.

Here's a quote:

"I know her. Wagon or no wagon, she wouldn't wait. Then she'd be upset, and I wouldn't upset her for the living world. With that family burying-ground in Jefferson and them of her blood waiting for her there, she'll be impatient. I promised my word me and the boys would get her there quick as mules could walk it, so she could rest quiet." Darl, p. 18

Addie also speaks of duty in her relationship to Anse; to hear her speak of it, duty is a joyless but necessary part of life. Anse, too, constantly speaks of his duty to Addie, and the need to bury the body where she wished it to be buried. But duty seems somewhat fragile. Anse takes up with a new woman less than two weeks after Addie's death. And in terms of duty, the ties within the Bundren family fray rather quickly when it comes time to turn in Darl.

Each character seems to have been taught duty and loyalty to the family, but no one truely practices their lessons. While certain acts display the deep family love that the children feel, such as Jewel giving up his horse for the team of mules, characters such as Anse are made only of words. As many of the men who know the Bundrens comment, Anse always ask help of other people, but never lends it himself. The duty he talks of is never fulfilled at any time during the novel, but geatly disregarded.