In William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying death is a very central theme as the characters are all dealing with the passing of Addie Bundren. The town doctor, Peabody, comes to see Addie just before she dies, knowing that it is too late to save her and reveals how he feels about death:
I can remember how when I was young I believed death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind−and that of the minds of the ones who suffer the bereavement. The nihilists say it is the end; the fundamentalists, the beginning; when in reality it is no more than a single tenant or family moving out of a tenement or a town (42).
The significance of this passage is much more than just