As I lay Dying by William Faulkner
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I don't think the beauty of dying is an underlying theme in this book. With the central action being the delivery of Addie Bundren's body to Jefferson, mortality is an inescapable theme. Mortality here is nasty and extremely physical, with a stinking corpse and fat buzzards always following close behind. Death is also rendered more painful in light of the harshness of life. Addie is not allowed real rest. Her dead hands are described as still unresting, as if they could not believe that their work was done. And even after death, her body is made to suffer a number of new indignities.