William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

644 words - 3 pages

William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

In William Faulkner's novel, As I Lay Dying many points of view are expressed through the use of interior monologue, but even when they are all put together, they can't serve as an objective view of what really happened. In the book, there are many monologues by many different people, often with opposing ideas and beliefs. Together the novel is a book of half-truths, with each set of events formed by what the narrator believes is the truth. To each individual what they say and think they consider a reality, however, it is merely their own perception of reality and consequently it becomes subjective. In the following essay, I will describe the structure the author uses in the book and the underlying theme behind it.
An instance of how an objective view can't 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 (Faulkner 62).'" In these two monologues both of the characters were so concerned with themselves and their innocence of doing anything that the actual order of events is lost inside their heads. Dewey Dell thought Vardaman was spying on her, while Vardaman though Dewey Dell was going to "tell him off" for Peabody's team a hard time, both characters combined past events with the present, so no objective view could have been formed. The reader can't gain an objective idea of what really happened during that period of time. Another example of an actual incident and of people's opposing views coming into conflict with the "reality" of what was going on was with Cora and Darl. "He did not answer. He just stood and looked at his dying mother, his heart too full for words (Faulkner 24-25)." This...

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