As I Lay Dying

The Tragedy of Miscommunication: As I Lay Dying 11th Grade

In accordance with the increasing influence of Modernist thought affecting American literature during the twentieth century, William Faulkner was willing to exercise more experimental narrative techniques and styles. His novel that came from this experimentation, As I Lay Dying, is a testament to his critique of mankind as hopelessly poor, yet unyielding, communicators. The heavily disjointed Bundren family, along with the handful of spectators and strangers who also happen to be a part of the burial of Addie Bundren, form an equally disjointed patchwork of perspectives, opinions, longwinded internal monologues, and terse conversation. The resulting synthesized narrative is a literary panorama which reveals all of the overlapping layers and niches which create a comprehensive story of the Bundren family journey. Surprisingly enough, this story of a dirt poor Southern family spending five days burying their dead mother is rich and vibrant, featuring intense emotional turmoil and the testing of familial ties, all hidden within the respective characters’ minds and thoughts. Ultimately, the greatest tragedy of As I Lay Dying is not the death of Addie Bundren, but the suffering and resentment which the Bundrens undergo as a...

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