Identity In Mass Man And As I Lay Dying

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Identity is a major theme in Walcott’s poems “Mass Man” and “A Far Cry from Africa” and in Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. Faulkner and Walcott use similar techniques to explore these themes. The concept of identity is explored using similar diction, animalistic imagery, interactions between characters and similar themes. Walcott and Faulkner discuss the split and fragility of identity, but each work holds its own story about different aspects of identity. Mass Man is about the loss of identity in a group, A Far Cry from Africa focuses on the splits in identity and As I Lay Dying reveals the complexity and fragility of memory. The three works share many things in common, one of them is the animalistic imagery. In Mass Man the people are described having animal characteristics, “a great loin’s head clouded by mange a black clerk growls (1-2)”. Conveying the loss of identity in the crowd. “A Far Cry from Africa” uses animal imagery to describe people too, “delirious as these worried beasts (18)”. This beast motif may hint at the violence that the British inflicted making them beasts. It is further emphasized in line 23 where brutish is a play on word and could be British. As I Lay Dying uses animal imagery to describe Anse because he is often described as a “tall bird hunched in the cold weather (170)” and as having a humped and motionless stance. These characteristics describe him as resembling a vulture. This imagery…show more content…
Meanwhile in As I Lay Dying the characters do not progress and find their identity. For example, Darl is sent away, Dewey Dell does not get an abortion, Anse is the same person and Addie does not connect with other people to form her identity. In “A Far Cry from Africa” the question of “How can I turn from Africa and live” is still posed and

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