Monday, February 22, 2010

As I Lay Dying motifs 169-end

Due by Monday (2/22) night pumpkin time.

1. Write your first name, last initial, and motif.

2. List every reference to the motif you have found. Write the chapter name (the name of the narrator), a short description, and the page number. For example, if the motif is "eyes" you might write "Darl (re: Jewel's eyes--like wood) 4; Cora (re: Addie's eyes--like candles & blank) 8 and 9; [etc.]"

3. Choose two quotations that seem especially significant to the novel so far. Type the whole quotation, include the chapter name (the name of the narrator) and page number.

4. Write one paragraph (about 100 words) analyzing the significance of the motif in the first quotation and another paragraph (same length) analyzing the significance of the motif in the second quotation.

5. Write a third paragraph (about 100 words) exploring the significance of the motif in the novel so far.

6. Write a fourth paragraph (about 100 words) exploring the significance of the motif in relation to another motif. Make direct reference to comments made by your peer who is tracking this other motif.


Mr. J. Cook said...

Brendan Shay Religion (last motifs)

p. 122 Dewey Dell – “I believe in God, God. God, I believe in God.”
p. 125 Tull – “I give her my promised word in the presence of the Lord”
p. 148 Darl – “It surged up out of the water and stood for an instant upon that surging and heaving desolation like Christ” (the log)
p. 153 Cora “Log, fiddlesticks” “It was the hand of God”
Tull – “Then how can you say it was foolish?” “Nobody cant guard against the hand of God. It would be sacrilege to try out.”
“One breath you say they was daring God to try it, and the next you jump on Anse because he wasn’t with them”
p. 166 Cora – “God gave you children to comfort your hard human lot and for a token of His own suffering and love, for in love you conceived and bore them”
“Who are you, to say what is sin and what is not sin? It is the Lord’s part to judge; ours to praise His mercy and His holy name in the hearing of our fellow mortals”
Addie/ Cora – “I know my own sin. I know that I deserve my punishment”
“He is my cross and he will be my salvation. He will save me from the water and from the fire. Even though I have laid down my life, he will save me.”
“How do you know, without you open your heart to Him and life your voice in His praise” Then I realized that she did not mean God. –she had spoken sacrilege-
I begged her to kneel and open her heart and cast from it the devil of vanity and vast herself upon the mercy of the Lord.
p. 173 - 176 Addie – “Sin and Love and Fear are just sounds that people who never sinned nor loved nor feared have for what they never head and cannot have until they forget the words”
“I would lie by him in the dark, hearing that dark land talking of God’s love and His beauty and His sin”
“…because people to whom sin is just a matter of words, to them salvation is just words too.”

p. 177 Whitfield – “When they told me she was dying, all that night I wrestled with Satan, and I emerged victorious. I woke to the enormity of my sin; I saw the true light at last, and I fell on my knees and confessed to God and asked His guidance and received it.”

“Have I not wrestled thigh to thigh with Satan myself?”

p.196 Armstid – “I do the best I can. For God if there were ere a man in the living world suffered the trials and floutings I have suffered”

“God knows…… etc”

p.195 Vardaman – “Fore God, I do the best that ere a man”

p. 202 Moseley – “if there can ever be any excuse for sin”

“The Lord have you what you have, even if He did use the devil to do it; you let Him take it away from you and it’s his will to do so.”

P. 214 Darl – “She’s talking to God, she is calling on Him to help her” “ She wants Him to hide her away from the sight of man”

p. 233 Pa – “God knows, it’s a trial on me. Seems like it aint no end to bad luck when once it starts.”

Cash – “But I thought more than once before we crossed the rive and after, how it would be God’s blessing if He did take her outen our hands” “ he was going against God in a way” p233-End – A lot of “God knows….”

Mr. J. Cook said...

Sabrina P.

Motif: Sexuality

Addie re: Anse says that he and Addie are not done having kids after just doing it twice. Pg 173

Whitfield. re: he had an affair with Addie and feels guilty about it. pg 178

Moseley re: he thinks that Dewey Dell is “looking at him” in a special way. Pg 198

Moseley re: he says that she looks “a sight better in her gingham dress” Pg 199

Moseley re: Dewey Dell is looking for something that will kill her baby in her stomach. Pg 201

Darl re: he is talking about the horse and uses words that refer to sexuality, also mentions “……cow……..” at the end of the quote. Pg 219

Darl re: again, he is talking about the animal and uses words that refer to sexuality pg 221

MacGowan re: they are talking about a "hotmamma country girl" who is here to get treatment. pg 242

Dewey Dell re: she has no reference to sexuality in this direct quote, but they talk about the 10 dollars that Lafe gave her to get rid of the child she is carrying, but she tells her father that it is Cora’s money and calls him a thief. Pg 255-257

"I prayed; “let me not be too late; let not the tale of mine and her transgression come from her lips instead of mine. She had sworn then that she would never tell it, but eternity is a fearsome thing to face: have I not wrestled thigh to thigh with Satan myself?” page 178 – Whitfield.

The significance of this quotation to my motif, sexuality, is that we find out here that Addie had an affair with Whitfield. Although she is now dead, this brings up a huge piece of a puzzle that the reader is unaware of. This new brought in character, Whitfield, decides that he wants forgiveness for what he has done with Addie. At first the reader is confused as to what happened, but then he says that he needs to apologize to Anse. The motif is significant to this quotation because of its relation to what has happened. The two kept a secret from the world, but now that he knows that she is about to die, he does not want to hold the guilt.

“He glares a moment longer at me, then at the roof overhead, then he leaps toward the stall where the horse screams. It plunges and kicks, the sound of the crashing blows sucking up into the sound of the flames. They sound like an interminable train crossing an endless trestle. Gillespie and Mack pass me, in knee-length nightshirts, shouting, their voices, thin and high and meaningless and at the same time profoundly wild and sad: “…….cow………” page 219 – Darl

In this quotation, it brings me back to past quotes that we have talked about in class. This is because the connection between sexuality and animals comes to play a big role in another motif, word choice. Instead of the author using words other than “sucking” and “blow” and “screams.” Although there is no sexual gesture, I have found that in many places where Faulkner puts a scene in with the animals, there are words referring to sexuality. The characters, being so attached to their animals, are revealing a side to them as well. This quotation is significant for the showing of how each motif is linked.

The motif sexuality has shown through many scenes of Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying. Throughout the novel, there have been parts where sexuality seems to solely link one motif to the next, but there are other parts where a huge piece missing to the puzzle of the book is shown. For example, when Whitfield comes in and we find out that Addie had an affair, it brings the rest of the book to wondering if Anse will find out. Also, in Dewey Dell’s case, everything she goes through, like her pregnancy and the way that people look at her. The motif shows many different sides to the characters.

James said...

Terri M
Masculinity and Paternity

Pg 170 Addie “ I would hate my father…”
Pg 181 Darl (Dewey Dell Speaks) “His Tool”
Pg 186 Armistid (Dewey Dell Speaks) “It’s his tools
Pg 185 Armistid (Anse Speaks) “She’ll want to go in ourn”
Pg 207 Darl (Cash Speaks) “I could last it out…We’ll lose time stopping.”
Pg 212 Darl “Your mother was a horse, but who was our father, Jewel?”
Pg 234 Cash “ Go on…We’ll get it done first.”
Pg 228 Darl (Anse Speaks) “ You never pure loved her, none of you.”
Pg 229-230 Darla (Conversation between people in a car and Jewel and family) “ What they got in that wagon?”...“Sons of bitches”… “Wait he don’t mean anything. He’s sick; git burned in a fire last night, and he aint himself”… Put up your knife, and he will”
Pg 243 MacGowan (Jody Speaks) “ What the hell do you think this is a stud-farm?”
Pg 247 MacGowan “That’s just the beginning of the treatment. You come back at ten o’clock tonight and ill give you the rest of it and perform the operation.”
Pg 255-257 Dewey Dell “…He took the money and went out.”

Pg 228 Darl (Anse and Jewel Speak)

“ We ought to done it,“ pa says. “ I just never wanted to be beholden to one except her flesh and book.
“Who the hell cant dig a damn hole in the ground?”
Jewel says.
“It aint respectful, talking that way about her grave,” pa says. “You all don’t know what it is. You never pure loved her, none of you.”

This short dialogue between Jewel and Anse is a moment where Anse is scolding his children. He is being self-righteous. He seems to be belittling his children. He is trying to play the fatherly role, but does a bad job. His insensitivity and self-absorbed persona is again displayed. It would seem that Anse has ulterior motives. He does not care about his children, some of who are extremely ill. He wants to do “What Addie would have wanted” even if his living family members have to suffer.

James said...

Pg 255-257 Dewey Dell (Dialogue between Dewey Dell and Anse)

When he saw the money I said, : Its not my money, it doesn’t belong to me.”
“Whose is it, then”
“Its Cora Tull’s money. It’s Mrs Tull’s. I sold the cakes for it.”
“Ten dollars for two cakes?”
“Don’t touch it. Its not mine.”
“You never had them cakes. It’s a lie. It was them Sunday clothes you had in that package.”
“Don’t you touch it! Of you take it you are a thief.”
“My own daughter accuses me of being a thief. My own daughter.”
“I have fed you and sheltered you. I give you love and care, yet my own daughter, the daughter of my dead wife, calls me a thief over her mother’s grave.”
“It’s not mine, I tell you. if it was, God knows you could have it.”
“Where did you get the ten dollars?’
“You wont tell me. Did you come by it so shameful you dare not?”
“Its not mine I tell you. cant you understand its not mine?”
“Its not like I wouldn’t pay it back. But she calls her own father a thief.
“I cant, I tell you. I tell you its not my money. God knows you could have it.”
“I wouldn’t take it. My own born daughter that has et my food for seventeen years, begrudges me the loan of ten dollars.”
“It’s not mine, I cant.”
“Whose is it, then?”
“It was give to me. To buy something with.”
“To buy what with?’
“It’s just a loan. God knows, I hate for my blooden children to reproach me. But I give them what was mine without stint. Cheerful I give them, without stint. And now they deny me. Addie. It was lucky for you you died, Addie.” \
“Pa. Pa.”
“God knows it is.”
“He took the money and went out.”

Anse is not a good father. This proven by the relationships he has with his children. In this we can see that Dewey Dell cannot talk to her father about her pregnancy. Although this would be frowned upon by society in this time period Anse should have at least helped her to get the abortion discretely instead of taking the money that he might have had a small suspicion about and using it for his own purposes. Anse relationship with his other children is not in good standing. As I have stated before, he suggest getting Cash the help he needs, but does not follow through with it. He rarely interacts with Vardamen, Darl does not get the support he needs and goes crazy and the relationship he has with Jewel is similar to the one he had with Dewey Dell in the sense that he sells Jewel’s belongings( the horse) with his own motives.

Anonymous said...

1. Sarah A Motif: Animals.

Page 180 Darl “on the horse…ahead on the horse”
Page 182(talking about buying a new team) Darl “When I looked…the curry-comb”
Page 186 (Jewel letting Anse ride the horse) Armstid “Anse taken that…the horse back”
Page 186-187 (the buzzards) “along toward…it’ a outrage”
Page 195(mother and fish) Vardaman “Cash is sick…is a fish”
Page 196 Vardaman “Jewel’s mother…my mother is a fish”
Page 210 Vardaman “Jewel hasn’t…broken leg”
Page 212 (Darl teasing Jewel) Darl “Your mother…father, Jewel?”
Page 220 Darl “Where cow?…end of her spine”
Page 250 Vardaman “Two men could…could not.”
Page 254 Darl “The wagon stands…the courthouse”

“Jewel’s mother is a horse. My mother is a fish. Darl says that when we come to the water again I might see her and Dewey Dell said, She’s in the box; how could she have got out? She got out through the holes I bored, into the water I said, and when we came to the water again I am going to see her. My mother is not in the box. My mother does not smell like that. My mother is a fish.” - Vardaman.

“Along toward nine o’clock it begun to get hot. That was when I see the first buzzard. Because of the wetting, I reckon. …but as soon as I see them it was like I could smell it in the field a mile away from just watching them, and them circling and circling for everybody in the county to see what was in my barn.” - Armstid.

The first quote further explains Vardaman’s association of his mother with the fish. Vardaman does not understand why Dewey Dell tells him that his mother is in the box, because his mother is a fish which needs to be in water, and that is where he will find her. When he says “My mother does not smell like that” I believe it’s because he is trying to idolize his mother. He can’t accept that fact that she is dead, or understand what death really is. His mother wouldn’t smell like a corpse, because to him his mother is not dead - she is a fish.

The second quote is from Armstid, who notices the buzzards circling due to the smell of Addie. This quote is important because from then on the family, while traveling notices how the buzzards keep circling above. It brings attention to the fact that they don’t just have a coffin in their wagon, but their mothers rotting corpse. In a way the buzzards are disturbing, because they bring a lot of attention to something the family wants to forget about, and it brings attention to the idea of death, and not being.


The motif in the novel is a way of characterization. Vardaman associates his mother with a fish, while Jewel relates his mother to a horse. Dewey Dell is associated with the cow, and in many ways people are described as animals. For different reasons the Bundren family use animals to deal with their grief. Vardaman thinks of his mother as a fish because like his mother, the fish is no longer after he cuts it up. Darl says that Jewel’s mother is a horse because of the love he has for his mother. The cow, filled with milk signifies Dewey Dell and how she is burdened with her pregnancy.


Sabrina points out on page 219 that when Jewel is trying to save the horse from the fire Darl chooses to use the word “stark-naked.” Bringing the motifs of animals and sexuality together. This passage is not the only time that this has happened. Earlier in the novel when Dewey Dell is with the cow in the bar, sexuality is brought up. The cows breath blows up her skirt. Also, Dewey Dell is pregnant, the same way that the cow is full with milk. The quote about Jewel saving the horse is strange, because Darl associates Jewel’s mother with a horse, which brings sense to the fact that Jewel would be trying to save the horse from the fire. It is odd that Darl decides to bring sexuality into the mix.

Brianna A said...

Brianna A. Words

Addie pg.171 “That was when…it didn’t matter.”
Pg. 172 “But then I...revenge.”
Pg. 173 “I would…of the jar.”
Pg. 173 *the lack of words, empty space.
Pg. 173 “And when…words.”
Pg. 174 “I would be;…with a word.”
Pg. 174 “I would lie…your mother.”
Pg. 175 “And I would think…of their dead sound”
Pg. 176 “She prayed…is just words too.”

Whitfield pg. 177 “among those people…sin aloud.”
Pg. 178 “I framed the words which I should use.”
Pg. 179 “Who knew…he was not there.”

Darl pg. 209 “He comes…into the wagon.”

Cash pg. 235 “told you to send word ahead.”

Addie pg. 171 “That was when I learned that words are no good; that words don’t ever fit even what they are trying to say at. When he was born I knew that motherhood was invented by someone who had to have a word for it because the ones that had children didn’t care whether there was a word for it or not.”
This quotation is significant especially because it comes from Addie. Although Faulkner shows examples of how words fail with each character, but here in Addie’s only monologue she clearly states that “words are no good”. Addie goes on to describe why words don’t fit and that the people who invented them didn’t understand what they were naming. When she says that no one words could describe motherhood Faulkner is showing how Addie feels as a mother, that he clearly resents it and only feels like she has children to pay off her emotional debt to Anse and to balance things out.

Whitfield pg. 179 “I have sinned, O Lord. Thou knowest the extent of my remorse and the will of my spirit. But He is merciful; He will accept the will for the deed, Who knew that when I framed the words of my confession it was to Anse I spoke them, even though he was not there.”
As Whitfield is preparing to go and confess his affair to Anse no matter what Addie says, he calls upon God to guide him. Whitfield prepares himself, and gathers his words directly from God. When Whitfield arrives at the house, Addie has already passed and Whitfield’s words fail him. Not only does he feel he does not need to confess now that Addie has passed but he feels he is not able to keep his word, his promise to God. Here, more than one kind of word fails and limits the characters from expressing themselves.

Although each character uses their own language to describe what they see, feel and think about they fail to tell each other. Each one has their own secrets and identity that they try to conserve for themselves to work out. As each other uses different ways to grasp reality words continue to fail them. They are not able to execute a common language between each other enough to have a successful life together. This wall that they continue to build between each other with limited words and failed language, invites trouble and trauma to the Bundren family. They are not able to communicate and progress forward but rather are stuck in a dark place that keeps getting darker and more complicated. Faulkner is reminding us that people are complex and love to keep their problems to themselves when maybe their afraid of communicating it to an unstable environment.

Words tend to coincide with responses to trauma in this novel. The trauma of losing Addie affects each character differently. Anse uses few words to express how he feels but Darl uses words the best way he can to try to figure out what death means and how he exists within in a world where people stop living. Other traumas along the journey to bury Addie challenge the characters to communicate with each other: such as something simple when Cash is trying to explain to Anse about building the coffin, or when Dewey Dell tells Vardaman to not use any words to express what he saw regarding Darl and the barn.

Megan Keegan said...

Megan K.

p. 181 Darl “We drove…curry-comb.”
p. 185 Armstid “Like he..he says.”
p. 187 Armstid “There must…call Darl.”
p. 189 Armstid “He was…I reckon.”
p. 195 Vardaman “Jewel has..away from.”
p. 196 Vardaman “But Jewel’s…a fish.”
p. 208 Darl “If you…into time.”
p. 210 Vardaman “Jewel hasn’t…broken leg.”
p. 212 Darl “Your mother…Jewel.”
p. 213 Darl “Jewel…goddamn you.”
p. 215 Vardaman “And I…nobody.”
p. 220 Darl “He looks…a plate.”
p. 228 Darl “It ain’t…none of you.”
p. 232 Cash “It wasn’t…Darl acted.”
p. 233 Cash “But something…is right.”
p. 238 Cash “But I…astonishment.”
p. 249 Vardaman “Darl…my brother.”
p. 251 Vardaman “He went…Darl.”
p. 253 Darl “Darl…yes.”
p. 261 Cash “Meet…he says.”

Page 196 Vardaman “ But Jewel’s mother is a horse. My mother is a fish. Darl says that when we come to the water again I might see her and Dewel Dell said, She’s in the box; hoe could she have got out? She got out through the holes I bored, into the water I said, and when we come to the water again I am going to see her. My mother is not in the box. My mother does not smell like that. My mother is a fish.”

Page 238 Cash “But I ain’t so sho that ere a man has the right to say what is crazy and what aint. It’s like there was a fellow in every man that’s done a-past the sanity or the insanity, that watches the sane and the insane doings of that man with the same horror and the same astonishment.”

Megan Keegan said...

Sanity and insanity is important in the first quote because it ties not only S&I together but also shows the motif of animals. More importantly however, Vardaman makes the comparison to his mother and explains that he bored holes in the side of her coffin so that she could swim out when she was submerged. The logic behind drilling the holes is a bit insane and the fact that Darl thinks it is normal that he might see her in the water proves the importance even more. In the second quote, Cash thinks about the difference between sanity and insanity and how he doesn’t think that any man should be able to declare the difference between the two. He says that there isn’t anyone who hasn’t done something sane or insane and can sit there and watch it without an equally horrified and astonished reaction.

This motif plays a very important part in the novel as a whole because it keeps the reader on top of things. By pointing out everyone’s flaws and making them seem like more than just common misunderstandings, it is necessary to pay more attention to not only the characters themselves, but their relationships with the characters around them. Paying attention to these details, it becomes more obvious that the characters are all insane, but to each other they all seem sane. The only exception to this is Darl, who is very clearly crazy.

Sanity and insanity is very closely related to animals in this novel. Most of the time when there is a quote said by Vardaman or Jewel, it involves fish or horses. Sarah points out the same quote that I analyzed (first quote) and says that he doesn’t want to believe that his mother is in the box because he wants to be able to find her in the water. I agree with Sarah when she says that he is using comparing his mother to a fish it is to ease the pain of her death, however I think that it makes it easier to cope with her passing while he is thinking of her in a different form.

Katina T said...

1.)Katina T. Motif: Money, buying, selling.

2.) Armistid: Pg. 184. Anse and Armistad talk about having to buy a new team of mules. Armistid offers his team, but Anse denies it.

Armistid: Pg. 189. Anse comes back saying he has bought a team, by giving away something that each of his family owns in order to purchase it, including Jewel’s horse.

Armistid: Pg. 191. Anse tried to make his actions of giving his family’s belongings in order to buy a team by complaining of the suffering he has been through.

Vardaman: Pg. 196. Anse suggests to Dewel Dell that she tries to sell her cakes in town.

Moseley: Pg. 201. Dewey Dell comes to his store for an abortion treatment, with ten dollars to pay for it. Moseley turns her down.

Moseley: Pg. 204. The family buys cement in order to fix Cash’s leg. The marshal thinks it’ll kill him.

Cash: Pg. 235. Anse decides that instead of buying a shovel, he will try to borrow one because he is sure that there are Christians there who would help them.

MacGowan: MacGowan takes advantage of Dewey Dell when she comes to the store for an abortion with her ten dollars.

Dewey Dell: Pg. 255. Anse asks for Dewel Dell’s abortion money, and she tries not to give it to him, but he ends up taking it anyways.

Cash: 260-261. Anse finally purchases a new set of teeth, and also has a new wife just after he buried Addie.

3. Quotation 1: Anse stands there, dangle-armed. “For fifteen years I aint had a tooth in my head,” he says. “God knows it. He knows in fifteen years I aint et the victuals He aimed for man to eat to keep his strength up, and me saving a nickel here and a nickel there so my family wouldn’t suffer it, to buy them teeth so I could eat God’s appointed food. I give that money. I thought that if I could do without eating, my sons could do without riding. God knows I did.”
Pg. 191.

Quotation 2: “It’s just a loan. God knows, I hate for my blooden children to reproach me. But I give them what was mine without stint. Cheerful I give them, without stint. And now they deny me. Addie. It was lucky for you you died, Addie.” Pg. 256-257

Katina T said...

Quotation 1: This quote defines the two goals that Anse has been striving for through out the novel: his new set of teeth and burying Addie in Jefferson. It is apparent to everyone that he will go to any length to achieve this as he has traded his children’s belongings for his new team of mules. Worst of all, he had traded Jewel’s horse, who Jewel put his own hard work to purchase. This quote directly shows how Anse’s self absorbment affects his family in a negative way. It is also evident that although Anse put down some of his own money, he used his children’s money without feeling bad about it. He feels as though it is justified because he hasn’t had functioning teeth for the past fifteen years, but it is clear that he has depended a lot more on his children, more than his children depended on him. His selfish behavior only causes more resentment through out his family because he thinks of himself more than others.

Quotation 2: Another quote of Anse, this quote shows how he pressured his kids to help him. In the beginning of the novel, they wanted to help him, but as they began to see his selfishness, he had to pressure them more into supporting him. In this instance, Dewey Dell needs that money for an abortion, and although he doesn’t know this, despite her pleading, he still takes the money. He feels as though he has given his children so much, but they are the ones who have given to him the most. It’s ironic that he brings Addie into this quote, because Addie saw right through this fake suffering act of his. It is clear that Anse know that Addie saw through this because he wants to fulfill his promise to bury her in Jefferson, as if to make up for how selfish he is. The author is puts irony in this quote when he says “It’s lucky for you you died, Addie” but Addie felt as though her gift to Anse was the children she birthed. He doesn’t realize it, but he should be grateful for Addie, because she provided him with the children who he is extremely dependent on.

5. The significance of the motif of money relates to how the Bundren family uses money to escape from the loss of Addie. Although Addie’s body travels with the family, they don’t ever talk about how they feel about her death. The family doesn’t talk about how they will miss her, or their feelings of grief. They just focus on their work. Money provided them a more efficient way to grieve. Although Anse has always depended on others around him, he depends on his kids even more once Addie dies. His children, who want to avoid pain, choose to work instead. Even though Anse is extremely selfish, he knows that he owes Addie to keep his promise of burying her because she gave him the children who actually provide for him. As Anse depends on his children, his children use money as a way to escape sadness.

The motif of Money relates to the motif of Death and Life. As I have said before, the Bundren family focuses on money in order to avoid dealing with death. They rarely speak of death and always speak of money. As a poor family, they choose other outlets, like resenting higher classes in society, or resenting their own father, in order to not think of their mother’s death. As Nancy says, “Anse describes his idea of heaven and complains about how superficial life is.” She goes on to say how good people who suffer when they are alive will be rewarded in heaven. I think that Anse realizes that he has been selfish and too dependent on his children, so he feels he absolutely has to keep his promise to Addie, or he will not be rewarded in heaven. While his kids try to avoid their mom’s death, Anse feels he has to embrace her so he will be rewarded. But his attempts are not as genuine as his children because he wanted something in return for his actions, while his children only wanted to support their family.

Anonymous said...

Terri M.
Significance of motif in novel

In the novel As I Lay Dying, the motifs masculinity and paternity play an important role. The places in which they show up are there to give the reader insight on family life. It also shows the assumed social order of the male. Anse and his son Cash have sort of reversed perspectives on their role in the family. Cash is more responsible than his father. Cash is always building things and doing odd jobs to help his family. Anse disregards his families needs so he can get what he wants.

In relation to another motif

No one has posted anything about family yet but I would be interested in what they have to say about masculinity and paternity in relationship with family in As I Lay Dying. The role that Anse takes in ignoring his children and the way that Addie virtually gave up on life show that they were not responsible parents. The children do the best they can to get by but their physical and mental conditions do not hold up very well due to the neglect they face.

Katina posted a quote about hos Anse decides to borrow a shovel instead of buying one to save money. This can relate to the problems that Anse has with being a role model. It is not the fact that this particular time he wanted to save money it is the fact that he is planning to spend money on something else without letting anyone in on his plans. It is an example of how he does things all along.

Nick B said...

Nick B. – Hope and Despair

Addie – pg. 170 (re: Addie’s hopelessness towards life)

Whitfield – pg. 178 (re: Whitfield feels forgiven before he even confesses to Anse)

Darl – pg. 207 (re: Cash’s hope that his leg isn’t that bad)

Vardaman – pg. 215 (re: Darl’s hope that Addie is still conscious in death)

Darl – pg. 221 (re: Darl can’t stop Jewel from saving Addie’s body)

Cash – pg. 234 (re: Cash is depressed at the inequalities of the world)

Cash – pg. 238 (re: Darl loses it when even Cash tells him he should go to jail)

Vardaman – pg. 252 (re: Dewey Dell knows that the “abortion” pills won’t work)

Addie – pg. 170 – “I would look forwards to the times when they faulted, so I could whip them. When the switch fell I could feel it upon my flesh; when it welted and ridged it was my blood that ran, and I would think with each blow of the switch: Now you are aware of me!”
This is the only chapter where Addie speaks in the whole book, so going into it the reader is very attentive and very easily influenced. Because there is no prior direct characterization of Addie, what is said here is extremely important, and it comes as a shock when you see her brutal personality. This quote exemplifies her passage in short, and gives the reader a whole new outlook towards her. The reader no longer thinks that she was an amazing woman with a horrible husband; we now know her hopelessness and ensuing cruel feelings, as well as her grim logic behind marrying Anse. This passage shatters whatever image the reader has had of Addie and puts a much uglier, much more realistic character in its place.

Cash – pg. 234 – “It’s like some folks has the smooth, pretty boards to build a courthouse with and others don’t have no more than rough lumber fitten to build a chicken coop. But it’s better to build a tight chicken coop than a shoddy courthouse, and when they both build shoddy or build well, neither because it’s one or tother is going to make a man feel the better nor the worse.
Throughout the novel Cash is the down-to-earth, practical, get the work done type of guy. He stays pretty mellow about his leg and pretty relaxed about all the hardships the family faces. This passage shows, by the depth behind his words, that he feels strongly about this matter and that he thinks it’s important. The neutral tone he says it in, however, is more telling of his personality in the book, even when talking about something that really matters to him. This passage helps the reader understand Cash’s thought process and his rationale behind being so calm and so relaxed throughout the book.

Nick B said...

Hope and Despair:
Hope and despair are frequently occurring themes in As I Lay Dying, but their meaning comes from where they are, not how often they come up. Of course with Addie dying and all the misfortune surrounding the death despair is the most prevalent idea, but hope is interesting to track also. Cash’s hope is just blind good-naturedness, he feels optimistic no matter what, and Darl’s hope is just denial, but Whitfield’s hope is more of a deliberate ridicule of society. Faulkner is making fun of the idea that by simply confessing your sins to god you are absolved, that you can skip the hard part of actually apologizing and just do it in your mind to God. Where hope and despair come up, as well as when in the story and from whom, is central to both the character and the plot development throughout the novel.

Hope and Despair vs. Sanity and Insanity
The motif of hope and despair grows closer to the ideas of sanity and insanity as the book progresses. As characters start to sway from hopeful to despairing, vice versa, or away from emotions altogether, they fade in and out of sanity too. As Darl loses his hope and is left only with despair, he loses his sanity. As Anse drifts away from hope and despair and caring about anything important, he goes insane in another sense, by losing his dignity and even his humanity. All the characters lose some innocence and hope by the end of the book, but only a few are forced into insanity by it.

Meredith S said...

Meredith S.
Motif: Tools/building

Armstid: “He didn’t…he said.” (189)
Darl: “The front…relief.” (219)
Darl: “We see…saw-horses.” (222)
Vardaman: “They got the flat iron and the hammer.” (224)
Cash: “Then we saw… went on.” (236)
Peabody: “He’s taking back… hole in the ground.” (240)
Cash: “So when…”take them back.” (258)
Quotation :
“ ‘A fellow that just beat Snopes in a trade ought to feel pretty good,’ I said. ‘What did you give him, Anse?’ He didn’t look at me. ‘I gave him a chattel mortgage on my cultivator and seeder,’ he said.” (189)
Anse reveals that he sold some of his farming equipment to buy new mules for their trip. To pay for the mules he also sold Jewel’s horse and used Cash’s money which he was saving for a gramophone. Each person had to sacrifice something that meant a lot to them for the greater good of their family. The fact that Anse made his own sacrifice shows his devotion to family. The equipment he sold is a vital tool for working the farm. This shows that he is willing to risk the state of the farm for the well-being of his family.
The significance of the tools/building motif in the novel has a direct meaning of the presence of organization and order or the need/desire for it. This explains why the motif is most closely associated with the character Cash, particularly at the beginning. Cash’s methodical way of thinking is represented by his interest in carpentry. The motif usually appears amongst chaos that the characters are experiencing. It makes sense, then, that the tools/building motif can be connected to the sanity/insanity motif. Tools symbolize the potential for strength, structure, and management, which can be thought of a as a way to sanity. Insanity is the exact opposite of this; exactly what tools try to create order out of.

Francesco P said...

Francesco P
Motif: Secrets
Addie pg 170: “Now you are aware of me! Now I am something in your secret and selfish life”
Addie pg 173: “and that my revenge would be that he would never know I was taking revenge”
Addie pg 175: “I hid nothing, I tried to deceive no one”
Addie pg 175: “I would never again see him coming swift and secret to me in the woods”
Darl pg 212: Tree talking in “trickling bursts of secret and murmurous bubbling”
Darl pg 213: Darl accuses Jewel of lying (holding secrets)
Darl pg 230: Jewel never having looked at Darl.
Cash pg 236: “it was just like he knowed, like he could see through the walls and into the next ten minutes” About Darl, his perception of secrets Etc.
Cash pg 237: “And then I always kind of had a idea that him and Dewey Dell kind of knowed things betwixt them.”
MacGowan pg 242: his own secret of trying to seduce Dewey Dell
MacGowan pg 243: Dewey Dell refusing to reveal her baby’s father’s name.
Dewey Dell pg 256: Dewey Dell refused to tell Anse where she got 10$.

Quotation 1
Addie pg 173: “It was as though he had tricked me, hidden within a word like within a paper screen and struck me in the back through it. But then I realized that I had been tricked by words older than Anse or love, and that the same word had tricked Anse too, and that my revenge would be that he would never know I was taking revenge”
We have realized by now that Addie holds an immense deception within her own being, and this quote allows us to gaze into its origins. Addie’s secret did not begin with Jewel’s conception, but rather from Addie and Anse’s unison, a cold and loveless union. Addie perceives words, especially one’s such as Love, as empty shapes, which fill a void of an empty space in life. In essence that is how she allowed herself to become ‘tricked’ into marriage, to fall into the depths of a void of a life she did not imagine for herself. The secret in this aspect is not contained in words, or composed of knowledge, but rather from the truth of one’s perspective, the concealment of a state of mind.

Francesco P said...

Quotation 2
Cash pg 236: “it was just like he knowed, like he could see through the walls and into the next ten minutes”

Darl's position in secrets is also based on a sense of awareness and perceptiveness that is not present in words. We have come to witness that Darl is sensitive to other’s state of being, and has a keen ability to ascertain the discreet aspects of consciousness’s that are fundamental for those whom he gazes upon. Darl, in this aspect, is not barred from the constructs of other characters’ minds. He almost shares our ability as readers, to read and perceive others thoughts no differently than our own, not bounded by the prospects of time, in knowing, for instance, when his mother will die, and in this quote, that his father will attain the spades.

Summary of Motif Thus Far

The motif of secrets and deception has become immensely convoluted, intertwining with the fundamental persona of certain characters, and with other pivotal themes and motifs that are central to the novel and to life. Secrets have become the means through which certain characters, such as Addie, maintain their reality, which may otherwise be intolerable, and how others, such as Darl, find truth in their reality. Faulkner makes suggestions about our conceived notion of reality, about the truths that we maintain in order to appear sane and function fluidly in a family, social structure, or general society, which does not accede our notions, and cannot, for a social construct is an idea fabricated from a myriad of other consciousnesses spawning realities from within, (what the stream of consciousness style allows us to perceive)

Connecting to Motif of Insanity.

When writing about Darl’s access to the realm of secrets, I thought about how we can define insanity. Although I’m not quite sure I’ll ever be able to produce a viable definition, I will say that insanity could be rooted in a perception, which is not perceived, or interpreted by others in the same manner. This is evidently why Darl is considered queer by many town folk, in his gazes that reflect the living reality of his world. Faulkner perhaps insinuates that there is a form of madness that comes from perceiving the world in clarity, a world that is absurd at it’s core and that yields insanity when experienced fully. Megan brought up a quote in which Cash states that “no man should be able to declare the difference between sanity and insanity” basically because in every man there is duality of sanity present. Each man being partially sane and partially insane, in the way that they perceive their world and act upon their perceptions, signifies that each many can recognize those aspects of himself in others, calling it insanity when the revelations of certain secrets are too far from their awareness.

B Shay said...

Brendan Shay

1 . p. 148 Darl – “It surged up out of the water and stood for an instant upon that surging and heaving desolation like Christ” (the log)
p. 153 Cora “Log, fiddlesticks” “It was the hand of God”
These two quotations are important because they are inferring that God is or sent the log to attack the characters as they tried to cross the river. Why He did this must have been because of their past actions. Each person has their own Sin that they are hiding and the log is sent at the opportune moment as their punishment. For example a sin would be Dewey-dell being pregnant without being married first.
2. Addie/ Cora – “I know my own sin. I know that I deserve my punishment”
“He is my cross and he will be my salvation. He will save me from the water and from the fire. Even though I have laid down my life, he will save me.”
“How do you know, without you open your heart to Him and life your voice in His praise” Then I realized that she did not mean God. –she had spoken sacrilege-
I begged her to kneel and open her heart and cast from it the devil of vanity and vast herself upon the mercy of the Lord.
There’s this whole chapter talking about how Addie has committed some kind of sin and Cora wants her to kneel in front of her and confess to God. I am unsure of what this sin actually is, there is much talk of Satan which is never good. This topic which does not come up until near the end of the book seems to add a few solutions to some problems. Fro example, maybe it’s not the group of characters that committed sin and are being punished by God, but Addie who has committed the sin. The Log comes as a representative of God to punish Addie, even after death. This also adds some more questions like what does Satan play in this picture? Punishment even after death?
3. So to briefly go over what I was saying in my in-class essay, this books take on Religion is a more darker approach in my opinion. Other than Cora who is always trying to push God’s will onto people, most other characters don’t really reel towards Religion as much. You have Addie and Darl who basically don’t believe in God, and Cash who has a possible grudge after “falling off the church”. This “falling off the church” thing kind of looks like God is punishing the group in some way. May it be pushing cash off the church or trying to drown them all in a river. Look’s like God has a grudge too. Anyway it’s possible everyone has sinned, or just one person. If only one person had sinned it’s probably Addie in some way. Cash’s accident and Dewey-dell getting pregnant could be seen as signs of the punishment. The start of the rainstorm as soon as they try to move Addie’s body is a blatant sign that “someone” up there doesn’t like them.
4. So in someway while reading this book I was trying to find some conspiracy theory behind Religion and Sanity/Insanity. There are the people like Cora who blurt out their religion and then the ones like Anse/Dewey-dell who either keep it to themselves or do not have any. Who out this group is sane and insane. Whoever you are focusing on will most likely think that the other is insane, and vide-versa. So this makes it really hard to actually find the truth. You have people who are explaining the rainstorm as a curse upon the Bundren’s, which seems insane to people like me and you. Yet many facts in the book clearly point out that it all might not in fact be a coincidence. This would make Cora sane and nearly everyone else insane. Though this doesn’t seem right, so you keep going and going like I did while reading. Saying that the whole “trip” was a delusion of the insane, while religion was the truth seeping through was probably as far as I got. It’s hard when you listened to someone and though their word’s are true, and they end up being insane (like Darl possibly).

Andrew Ryan said...

Andrew R.

Responses to trauma

Armistid pg 191 “Then he spit…spotted cyclone.”

Vardaman pg. 217 “And so…nobody.”

Darl pg. 218-222 “Against the dark doorway…like flowers in his undershirt.”

Vardaman pg. 225 “Where is Darl…You needn’t to cry, Darl.”

Darl pg. 229 “Jewel whirls…The wagon moves.”

Cash pg. 232 “It wasn’t nothing…Darl reacted.”

Cash pg. 236 “You let me take you back to Peabody’s,” Darl said.”

Cash pg. 288 “It was bad so…same astonishment.”

Quote 1

Vardaman pg. 224-225 “Where is Darl?” they said. He is out there under the apple tree with her, lying on her. He is there so the cat wont come back. I said, “Are you going to keep the cat away, Darl?” The moonlight dappled on him too. On her it was still, but on Darl it dappled up and down. “You needn’t to cry,” I said. “Jewel got her out. You needn’t to cry, Darl.”

This quote is significant because it reveals the difference between Jewel’s and Darl’s response to the barn burning. Prior to this quote Vardaman claims to have seen something, which is later revealed to be Darl setting fire to the barn. This quote comes just after Jewel rushes into the burning barn to save the animals and the coffin. Jewel responds immediately to the fire by running into the barn and risking his life to save the lives of the animals and his mother’s coffin. Darl meanwhile simply watches Jewel rush into and out of the burning barn. After all the animals have been saved and the coffin has been rescued, Darl begins to weep onto of the coffin. This entire scene is spooky in that it was Darl who burned the barn knowing that the coffin was in there, and now he is crying that she has been saved. This is the first sufficient scene that reveals Darl’s insanity. Prior to this scene when Darl is laughing in the wagon with his mother’s coffin at his feet, it is unclear if Darl is truly insane. It could be deduced that he is nervous and is laughing.

Andrew Ryan said...

Quote 2

Cash pg. 236 “You want Jewel to go,” Darl says, “or do you reckon I better?” “I reckon I better,” pa says. He got down and went up the path and around the house to the back. The music stopped, then it started again. “He’ll get it, too,” Darl said. “Ay,” I said. It was just like he knowed, like he could see through the walls and into the next ten minutes. Only it was more than ten minutes. The music stopped and never commenced again for a good spell, where her and pa was talking at the back. We waited in the wagon. You let me take you back to Peabody’s,” Darl said.”

This quote is troubling because Darl does not appear to be concerned with burning the barn down and endangering animals and his mother’s coffin. I think it can be said that Darl is a psychopath who can’t help doing destructive things. I don’t think that what he does is intentional because in an attempt to help Cash’s broken leg he uses cement to form a cast, which severely affects Cash’s mobility for the rest of his life. I also think this is why he was crying on his mother’s coffin after he burned the cabin. I don’t think he truly meant any harm to her body. I’m convinced it’s his disorder that is making him do these destructive acts. Darl’s disorder must also affect is perception toward family, making it almost super-natural. There is no doubt that Darl is sick, when he is dragged away laughing but I think that his disorder is becoming more prominent than it originally was.

The motif responses to trauma is significant toward the end of the book since it reveals everyone’s true reaction and character in the face of trauma. Jewel throughout the whole book is always the first to react to trauma. When his mother’s coffin falls into the water he jumps in, in an instant. When the barn is burning he is the first to enter and risk his life in order to save the coffin. Anse is revealed as being selfish for taking his kin’s money to pay for the mules and for his teeth. Anse can be best described as stubborn and negligible for risking his family’s life just to bury his wife. He risks his sons drowning when they are crossing the river in the wagon and again when they are traveling through town and being assailed by the townspeople.

fenkor said...

H. Ono

Addie p. 169 "I could...a long time"
Addie p. 174 "That was...I fulfilled"
Addie p. 175 "My father...stay dead"
Vardamman p. 195 "Jewel's"
Moseley p. 198 "her head turned...wait for sign"
Darl p. 212 "Your mother...father"
Darl p. 230 "Son of a bitch"
Cash p. 232 "Sometimes...does it"
Peabody p. 240 "Of course...with"
MacGowan p. 246 "Give me medicine first"

Addie pg. 169 "I could remember how my father used to say that the reason for living was to get ready to stay dead a long time."

Here Addie is remembering events and things that her father used to say. As a result she would think that the only way that she could die was by looking at people and see only their dark secrets and selfish thoughts. The dark thoughts made it so that the only real purpose she saw in life was to to get a switch and hit children when they made a mistake. Each hit gave her a sense of existing in the lives of the children. Latter with Anse it was something she did to show that she existed.

MacGowan pg. 246 "Gimme the medicine first"

In this chapter Dewey Dell has finally gotten to the pharmacy where they supposedly sell medicine for abortion. She is asking for death here to make a problem go away. It is interesting that she is going to a drug store and she has to ask a young man for help when it was someone like him that got her into this mess in the first place. Though in this case she doesn't have much of a choice in the matter. It was apparently frowned upon to create things for abortions and the old man who would really know what he was doing wouldn't help. Medicine is also a good choice of words as it has connotations of healing when she is really asking for is poison.

Existence and identity is a great part of "As I Lay Dying". The title could refer to Addie who was the one who laid dying and then dead. With her death a journey that got more difficult as time went on began. Trauma becomes part of the journey as the characters inevitably question themselves and encounter unforeseen circumstances. In one instance Darl starts to become mad and even starts a fire to burn Addie's body. Other people get involved in this arison and their are injuries.