As I Lay Dying 9

Topics: Death, William Faulkner, Interpersonal relationship Pages: 6 (2693 words) Published: May 12, 2010
May 10, 2010
Child Relations
In the book “As I lay Dying” by William Faulkner the character that is dying name is Addie Bundren, the mother of five children. She was also the wife of no good Anse Bundren. Anse is lazy, selfish, no good farmer, who can hardly be called a farmer because he does almost none of the work himself. Out of an act of lust Addie and Anse married and ended up giving birth to Cash and Darl soon after. After the birth of her two sons Addie was bent on not having any more children. “The birth of Cash confirms her feeling that words are irrelevant and that only physical experience has reality and significance. Through the act of giving birth she becomes part of the endless cycle of creation and destruction, discovering that for the first time her aloneness had been violated and then made whole again by the violation” (Vickey 54). Anse wanted as many children as possible so that he would have as many hands a possible to work for him, but Addie was determined to have no more. This made their marriage very rocky and lead to Addie requesting to be buried with her blood relatives in town. In this time period this was hard because of the lack of transportation that they had as well as a lack of money. Her determination to not have any more children was brought to an end because she had an affair with Whittfield, which lead to the birth of Jewel. Anse did not know of this affair so he thought that jewel was his child. Addie decided to make it up to Anse by giving him two more children. “She consciously and deliberately gives Anse Dewey Dell to negative Jewel and Vardaman to replace him” (Vickey 55). Among the five children that she had Addie treated them all in a different way. Addie especially treated Cash, Darl, and Dewey Dell very differently. The relationship between Cash and Addie is magnificent for many reasons. Out of the five children that Addie had she liked Cash’s personality the most. Cash is the oldest of the five children. In addition to being the oldest, Cash is also a man of very few spoken words. He can be considered a very simple character compared to the others of the novel. For example, in his first narrative excerpt from As I Lay Dying Cash speaks in list form. {draw:custom-shape}

This is one of the most simplistic forms of communication known. As a skilled carpenter, Cash, went and built his mothers coffin, especially to her liking in front of the window in which she was slowly dying. Cash and Addie had a relationship based off very few spoken words. “Her blissful union with Cash exist beyond body language: Cash did not need to say it [love] to me nor I to him” (Clarke 38). Clarke is explaining in this passage how there are no words needed in the relationship between Addie and Cash. As Cash built his mothers coffin, for each piece that he completed he held up for her approval. “She’s just watching Cash yonder” (Faulkner 9). This shows how Addie was continuously looking out the window to check on Cash’s progress on her coffin. Cash is extremely determined to complete the coffin. “With Cash all day long right under the window, hammering and sawing at that------“(Faulkner 19). This is proof of their strong relationship because he spends all his time doing this strenuous task. “Work is Cash’s way of communicating with Addie, his means of getting and holding her attention, and thereby assuring that unspoken understanding that has always existed between them”(Bleikasten 179). Bleikasten is showing that Cash rarely speaks unless it is through his actions such as building the coffin. Although Addie and Cash did have a very good relationship, Cash still needed something to help him cope with the death of his mother. For him this would be his carpentry skills. “The carpentering itself is an activity in which Cash can immerse himself sufficiently to insulate himself from the harsh reality of his mother’s imminent death” (Powers 56). This is simply saying that Cash is using...

Cited: Bleikasten, Andre. _The Ink of Melancholy_. Requiem for a Mother. Indiana University Press, Bloomington. 1990
Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. New York: Vintage, 1990.
Powers, Lyall H. Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha Comedy. : The University Of Michigan Press. Ann Arbor.
Vickey, Olga W. The Novels of William Faulkner: A Critical Interpretation. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959. Print
Williams, David. _Faulkner’s Women: the Myth and the Muse_. University of Toronto Press. 1977.
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