William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying
The True Leader, in
William Faulkner’s as I lay dying.
William Faulkner’s As I lay Dying is about a poor family’s struggle to cope with the death of their mother Addie and transport her body to the Jefferson Cemetery. Their father Anse is a low life, he is only traveling with them to Jefferson so he can get himself a set of false teeth. The children never really had a loving relationship with their mother or father, Addie never wanted children, and Anse is too wrapped up in himself to care. “Anse of course is the real monster, refusing to work lest he sweat himself to death…” (Wagner 94).
Cash Bundren the oldest son of Anse and Addie Bundren is characterized as the diligent, kind, and dedicated leader of the family. Not only do Cash’s actions prove these qualities but also the descriptions of him by other narrators prove Cash to be a hardworking, loyal man. As his mother lies dying in bed he builds her a coffin. Cash is a perfectionist; he has each board approved by Addie. He wants her to be happy with the job he is doing. Darl the second to eldest son of the Bundrens treats Cash with respect and acknowledges his talents in the beginning of the book, “A good carpenter Cash is… Addie Bundren could not want a better one, a better box to lie in; it will give her confidence and comfort” (4-5).
While Anse wallows in self-pity, Cash steps up to fill his fatherly void. All of the Bundren children look up to Cash. Cash finds Vardaman missing right after seeing Peabody’s team run away; he goes out to find him. He also knows that Vardaman drilled holes into Addie’s coffin because he still believes Addie is alive, even boring holes into Addie’s face but cash still doesn’t yell at him, he simply mends the holes back. Anse of course, does not care much about Cash’s work or helpfulness. Even though Jewel shows little respect to Cash, Cash is still kind to Jewel and looks...