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Comparing Themes - The innovative and powerful structure of "As I Lay Dying" is beneficial to the themes William Faulkner is attempting to intertwine with his characters.

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Eric Aronsohn Period 3 4/5/03 Comparing Themes The innovative and powerful structure of "As I Lay Dying" is beneficial to the themes William Faulkner is attempting to intertwine with his characters. A worthy note to his writing is his use of stream-of-consciousness narrative to assist in achieving his goal of portraying perspectives of the same events through different people and levels of emotional and logical intensities. Darl Bundren is the first and most important narrator of the fifteen due to his elaborate descriptions. His version of events seemed to be the easiest to interpret and the least subjective. Another significant character to the novels dynamics is Jewel who partook is several of the main events in the novel. Faulkner's need for fifteen individual narrators suggest his need for fifteen different views of every situation. From Darl he obviously wants a character that is more isolated from the others that will be able to mediate between the hectic events of the characters and the understanding of the reader. ...read more.


Darl's passages possess intense imagery and metaphor that suggest his more accepting view of his mother's death and the wagons broken wheel. Jewel, on the other hand, most likely accepts the job of transporting lumber more willingly then Darl because he knows that one must make there own luck and in this case there own money. Darl believes the families poverty is more predisposed to them rather then subject to change by going out of their way. Another example of Darl's perspective of fate is when he burns down the barn to try and end the family's struggle to try and bring their mother to her burial site. He accepts his mother's death as a part of life and wishes to be done with the unnecessary hardship. Darl saves the coffin from floating down stream when they are on their journey to Jefferson and he saves her from the burning barn, other attributes Faulkner adds to give Jewel a stronger sense of luck over fate. ...read more.


He served his family with honor and was attempting to distinguish of the corpse to remove her burden from the family. It is most obvious that Darl has an acceptance for death that none of the other have the intelligence to understand. He repeatedly asks Jewel if he realizes that Addie is going to die and he is unable to grasp it. The journey is tough on the family and Darl truly sees no point in transporting the body to a gravesite where Addie's family is buried when the odor the body is giving off is so unbearable. To the other characters he almost seems insane because he is so accepting of death. Jewel especially seems ignorant to the idea of his mother's death even after she has passed away. Collectively the characters of "As I Lay Dying" provide a complete account of Faulkner's story. Jewel and Darl especially allow Faulkner to look at opposite extremes of the events the novel includes. Although the two often clash in their actions, they ultimately form a team to give the novel its abstract feel. ...read more.

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