As I Lay Dying Modernism Analysis

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Modernism entwined around the issues of gender, class, status, and absurdity of the time. The movement was a response to not only a national crisis, but also an overall international sensation of depression; some described it as the incapability to feel that anything at the time was reliable. Gender issues have always been a prominent topic of discussion throughout society, as well as literature, so naturally became a headlining focus of the modernist movement. Women, their capabilities, and their perception had always been regarded by a male-oriented society. As a woman, the ‘ideal success’ was a perfectly presented household, with the perfect family to showcase on the side. Failure to achieve this resulted in an unfulfilling lifestyle within…show more content…
Addie is not only characterized as stereotypical, but as revengeful and presumptuous; thus, her complexity as a character is vastly different than the others. Addie is a school-teacher whose death triggers the novel’s leading action. Her rival relationship with her husband leads her to devote all her time and effort to her favorite child, Jewel. Addie’s downfall is reflected in her marriage with Anse. Her inability to marry a gentleman with a drive marks her level of ineptitude and thus, the spark to her death. In this stereotypical time period, when home life is not satisfying, work should be the second go to list; however, this was not the case for Addie. She shares “In the afternoon when the school was out and the last one had left with his little dirty snuffling nose, instead of going home I would go down the hill to the spring where I could be quiet and hate them” (Section 40). Addie lacks the ability to express what is racing through her mind; it appears to the audience that she is almost silenced. This represents a woman trapped in a patriarchal society. In Henry Luce’s article The American Century, we see a common theme of silence and oblivious collaborating with each other. Luce discusses how America cannot be held responsible for everyone’s grief and pain; but because of our status throughout international affairs, we are held to this standard anyway. Like the classism of genders, America as a whole does appear to be close-minded. This statistic does not represent the country as a whole functioning in a narrow-minded state, but individual’s that are forming reputations for our

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