As I Lay Dying - Objectivity/Subjectivity

Topics: Perception, Mind, Monologue Pages: 3 (1077 words) Published: October 8, 1999
"Through the use of many characters monologues the narrative point of view presents an objective view of what really happened."
This statement is not adequate in connection with William Faulkner's novel, As I Lay Dying. Though many points of view are expressed through the use of interior monologue, even when compiled, they cannot serve as an "objective" view of what really happened.

There are many monologues by many different people, often with opposing ideas and beliefs. Together the novel is a collection of half-truths, with each set of events shaped by what the current narrator believes is truth. To each individual what they say and think, they consider reality, however it is merely their perception of reality and consequently it is subjective. An instance of how an objective view cannot be formed from the collection of monologues is when Dewey Dell encounters Vardaman in the milking shed. " "You durn little sneak!" My hands shake him hard… "I ain't doing nothing"". In these two monologues both characters were so concerned with themselves and their innocence of any wrong doing that the actual order of events is lost inside their minds. Dewey Dell thought Vardaman to be spying on her, while Vardaman though Dewey Dell was going to "tell him off" for lashing out at Peabody's team, both characters fused past events with the present and so no objective view could be formed. The reader cannot gain an objective idea of what really happened during that period of time. Another example of the actual incident and people of diametrically opposing views coming into conflict with the "reality" of what was happening was with Cora and Darl. "He did not answer. He just stood and looked at his dying mother, his heart too full for words." This is how Cora views Darl, as a kind and loving son, the private favourite and love of Addie. Darl however, appears to be indifferent to his mother and the three dollar load. Everyone else knows...
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