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As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. Words are labels and are insignificant in the long run. Addie Bundren understood this principle and she hated words and longed for quiet and solitude.

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As I Lay Dying William Faulkner Words Shannon Ghramm 6/22/01 Prof. Reeves Eng.212 Ses 1 W O R D S When we say 'I love you' what does that really mean? And what do we really mean when we say it? What are words? Words are societies way of communicating, they are the basis of all of ways of communicating. But as Shakespeare so cleverly wrote, "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Words are our labels for the world, to make it more accessible or maybe to help us to understand it. But objects would exist even if they didn't have names, and a house would exist even if it were called a rose. Words are labels and are insignificant in the long run. Addie Bundren understood this principle and she hated words and longed for quiet and solitude. It is interesting that we barely get her perspective on the story and even on her own life, but even through that little monologue of hers we learn more about her and her family than words could ever have explained. ...read more.


We weave webs of love with our spouse and tell them that we love them but words cannot penetrate a soul and so we do dangle and twist in our lives and speak words just to fill space. Addie tells us "He had a word, too. Love, he called it. But I had been use to words for a long time. I knew that that word was like the others; just a shape to fill a lack; that when the right time came, you wouldn't need a word for that anymore..." It is clear that she really didn't love Anse because if she did she wouldn't be able to describe it, wouldn't be able to describe how she felt with words. The word 'love' exchanged between the two of them was a void trying to fill a void just as Addie describes that her "aloneness had been violated and then made whole again by the violation." She was leading a very solitary life but one that had been invaded time and time again against her will. ...read more.


could be cleansed of her sins she feels it is ironic "because people to whom sin is just a matter of words, to them salvation is just words too." Cora is praying with words but those words and repentance are empty because they are not followed with action on her part. Sinning is an action and so cannot just be negated with words, one must live a true and holy life and really act like forgiveness is justified. It is funny though because in this whole narrative we see that Addie herself does not seem religious but she knows more about it than the people who call themselves holy. But then again they are just using insignificant words to describe themselves. So, what is the significance of words? Are they really important? From this story one must conclude that the story of Addie, among many other things, is trying to teach us a lesson. Do not let your words hang empty in your lives. If you love someone do not just say it, do it. If you have sinned, act like you want to be forgiven. Never use words in the place of actions. ...read more.

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