Grief In Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

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Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote “Grief can’t be shared. Everyone carries it alone, his own burden in his own way,” (Brainy Quote). In William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying grief is one of the main emotions that run throughout the entire story. Grief impacts the individual identity, social roles, and symbolism of the characters within the story As I Lay Dying, in this essay I will examine how grief plays a part within the story through the similar and different perspectives of Eric Sundquist and Olga W. Vickery. In the book, As I Lay Dying the grief of the characters as the passion of Addie Bundren is deeply examined in how the characters grieve, and how that grief impacts their behavior and decisions. A major theme of the book is how the Bundren family doesn’t meet the traditional expectations of social and cultural norms. Olga Vickery discusses this concept in relation to the funeral of Addie, she discusses how the Bundren family have their own individual reactions to the grief they are experiencing,…show more content…
Vickery identifies how the varying forms of symbolism the characters show throughout the story are individual to their intrinsic journey within the process of grieving. Vickery feels Cash’s dedication to the building of the coffin is his way of expressing his emotions regarding the loss of his mother and his way of expressing his own individual grief, (241). Vickery also identifies how Darl’s starting of the fire is where the character reaches his breaking point with the dysfunction of his family and the chaos of the situation as a whole, (243). Another character she identifies as experiencing grief is Jewel and the symbolism of his horse in regards to his relationship with his mother, (244). For Jewel the horse was an element of his mother something he could have and love entirely unto himself which he didn’t have to share with anyone

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