Tuesday, February 2, 2010

As I Lay Dying motifs pages 3-84

Due by Wednesday 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.


nFrye said...

Nancy F.
"Life and Death (Being and Non-Being)"

Darl pp 5 (re: coffin "could not want a better box to lie in"

Jewel pp 15 (re: all of the attention is killing Addie "sitting there, like buzzards...if you wouldn't keep on sawing and nailing...if you'd just leave her alone."

Darl pp 39 "It takes two people to make you, and one people to die. That's how the world is going to end."

Darl pp 47-52, Addie dies

Vardaman pp 53 (re: fish and not-fish "It is cut up into pieces of not-fish now, not-blood on my hands and overalls")

Vardaman pp 54 (re: overwhelming life "The life in him runs under the skin...")

Vardaman pp 56 (re: not being "I am not crying now. I am not anything...")

Vardaman pp 67 (re: time and being and not being "Then it wasn't and she was, and now it is and she wasn't..."

Darl pp 80 (re: sleep and not being, questioning identity "And before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are emptied for sleep, you are not..."

Vardaman pp 84 (re: death of fish/mother "My mother is a fish."

nFrye said...

Darl pp 39 "It takes two people to make you, and one people to die. That's how the world is going to end."

When I read this statement, I thought of a few ways in which to interpret it. By using the word "people" instead of "person" in the second part of the first sentence, Darl encompasses a much broader idea than just what he and his family are presently coping with. When I saw "people", I began to reflect upon the idea of the Holocaust and other genocides. And when Darl says "That's how the world is going to end." the concept is driven home. Not only is he speaking about the loss of one life, his mother's life, but Faulkner, through his diction, brings into play other broader issues that could occur to a grieving person. A sort of "now I know what it's like for everyone else" moment.

nFrye said...

Darl pp 80 "In a strange room you must empty yourself for sleep. And before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are emptied for sleep, you are not. And when you are filled with sleep, you never were. I dont know what I am. I dont know if I am or not."

This quote addresses the motif of being and not-being. The motif thus far throughout the novel has directly related to the idea of finding an identity. Darl is very perceptive and he thinks about things a lot (as Vernon Tull says). This quote later goes on to say that Jewel does not wonder who he is because he never asks who he is. He already knows. But Darl sees things differently and points out things that Faulkner wants us to see about the world and people. Darl thinks that people must empty themselves and ask who they are. He sees sleep as a state of non-being. His view of the world encompasses many ideas and applies not only to himself but to anyone who thinks. The other characters in As I Lay Dying also experience identity crisis, as reflected in their similar thoughts on being and not-being.

nFrye said...

Nancy F.
"Dying and Living, Being and Not-Being"

I feel as though I am addressing two very different motifs as I track dying and living and being and not-being. The entire novel is centered around death and leaving the living behind. Being and not-being pertains more to the exploration of oneself within the novel. While Vardaman associates not-being with death sometimes (as with the fish), Darl sees not-being as not being self-aware or sure of who he is. It is an issue of identity more than life or death. All of the characters suffer from a sense of lacking identity. They aren't sure of who they are or what they will become. Anse has lost his wife, his counterpart. Dewey Dell has lost a mother and a guiding person in her life and also must deal with losing a life (Addie) and bringing another life into the world (her baby). Jewel had an intense relationship with his mother, one that defined him, so while he may seem sure of his identity, he has lost part of it. Darl continues to explore the world to find himself. Vardaman is not sure what has happened really, and thus must form his identity around things that he cannot truly comprehend.

Andrew Ryan said...

Andrew R. – Responses to Trauma

Darl pg 4: Cash responds to his dying mother by solely directing his attention toward making the coffin.

Darl pg 12: Jewel responds to his dying mother by taking out his anger toward animals, especially toward the horse.

Jewel pg 14: Jewel is angry at everyone. He wants to be alone with his mother.

Darl pg 16-17: Darl chooses to take care of his family than himself.

Darl pg 18: Pa appears not only devastated by his wife dying, but also lost. He cannot concentrate or think.

Cora pg 22: Cora decides to help of the Bundren family, but wants to make sure that everyone is aware she is.

Cora pg 25: Darl is too upset to talk. He’s trying to hold the family together while not breaking down himself.

Tull pg 30: Tull is genuinely trying to help the Bundren family, especially Anse.

Tull pg 32: Cora appears as if she is comforting the Bundren’s but she is only doing this to appear great.

Anse pg 38: Cash is so heart-broke about his mother’s death that he cannot even listen to Anse. He responds to his mother’s death by remaining quiet.

Dewey Dell pg 62: Vardaman is angry after seeing his mother die. He responds to the death by blaming everyone including the Peabody and Dewey Dell.

Quotation 1

Darl pg 18-19: “It’s fixing up to rain,” pa says. “I am a luckless man. I have ever been.” He rubs his hands on his knees. “It’s that durn doctor, liable to come at any time. I couldn’t get word to him till so late. If he was to come tomorrow and tell her the time was nigh, she wouldn’t wait. I know her. Wagon or no wagon, she wouldn’t wait. Then she’d be upset, and I wouldn’t upset her for the living world. With that family burying-ground in Jefferson and them of her blood waiting for her there, she’ll be impatient. I promised my word me and the boys would get here there quick as mules could walk it, so she could rest quiet.” He rubs his knees. “No man ever misliked it more.”

This quote that Anse says to his son’s, reveals how lost he is at this moment. Anse’s longtime wife is close to dying at this moment and he can barely think. At the same time his son’s are planning to leave in order to make three dollars. Throughout the quote, Anse is mentioned rubbing his knees. This could be interpreted as a nervous tic or simply being uncomfortable. This quote also reveals Anse’s love for his wife. He knows what upsets her and would do anything to prevent that.

Andrew Ryan said...

Andrew R.

Quotation 2

Cora pg 24-25: “It was Darl. He come to the door and stood there, looking at his dying mother. He just looked at her, and I felt the bounteous love the Lord again and His mercy. I saw that with Jewel she had just been pretending, but that it was between her and Darl that the understanding and the true love was. He just looked at her, not even coming in where she could see him and get upset, knowing that Anse was driving him away and he would never see her again. He said nothing, just looking at her. “What you want, Darl?” Dewey Dell said, not stopping the fan, speaking up quick, keeping even him from her. He didn’t answer. He just stood and looked at his dying mother, his heart to full for words.”

This quote that Cora says about Darl, reveals the strong and emotional bond that Darl and his mom have. Their bond is so strong that words do not have to be uttered. According to Cora, the way he must have looked at his mom said enough. There was no doubt that he loved his mom more than anything. It appears that their bond is stronger than all of the other children. Their love, according to Cora, is true. This quote also reveals a disconcerting relationship between Jewel and his mom. Later on in the book it is revealed that his mom had beat him, so it is tragic that Jewel and his mom do not share the same bond.

The motif, responses to trauma, is important in the novel As I Lay Dying because it shows how everyone deals with their mother’s death and reacts to it. It also shows the family dynamics more closely. When dealing with trauma, members in a family will all react differently. Jewel for example reacts by getting angry and lashing out. This could be based on the fact that he was abused when he was young, and this is the way he shows affection. Cash chooses to remain quiet and isolated from the family. Darl chooses to put his feelings aside to comfort his family. It is shown that Anse is lost, but meanwhile is trying to hold the family together. Dewey Dell is too egotistical too be effected by her mother’s death. Vardaman who is young does not fully understand death. Instead of lashing out, Vardaman blames others for his mother’s death. He relates his mother’s death to the dead fish because it is easier to understand.

Katina T said...

1.) Katina T: Money/buying/selling

2.) -Name of characters: Jewel and Cash.

-Cora: ( was hired to make cakes, but the person who buys them, decides they don’t want them anymore.) pg. 7-9

-Darl: (talks about going to earn 3 dollars for making a delivery when his mother is close to death. ) pg. 17

-Tull: (Again, Kate brings up how the person should have bought the cakes.) pg. 34

-Anse: (talks about how he wants a new pair of teeth, and how the three dollars will help towards that) pg. 37

-Peabody: (as Addie is close to death, he scolds the family for worrying about money rather than calling a doctor for help)

-Darl: (when Anse has to explain to Addie that the boys went to earn 3 dollars while she is on her death bed.) pg. 47

3/4: Cora: ““She ought to taken those cakes anyways,” Kate says.
“Well,” I say, “I don’t reckon she never has no use for them now.”
“She ought to taken them, “ Kate says. “But those rich town ladies can change their minds. Poor folks cant.”
Riches is nothing in the face of the Lord, for He can see into the heart. “ pg. 7

This quote is important because it implies certain attributes about the characters. While Kate is angry about the customer cancelling the order, Cora is much more easy-going about the situation. Readers will easily be able to see how Kate is bitter towards wealthy people, while Cora is indifferent. She feels that because God doesn’t care about riches, neither should she. The author makes it clear that Kate has a different view than this when she complains on how the person should have taken the cakes. The quote is significant in order to portray the varied opinion among characters in the story and their views towards the ladder of society. While Cora is content with where she stands, perhaps Kate is being bitter because she feels as if people who are on higher levels of society feel that they are better than her (i.e. not the person not buying the cakes)

Anse: “And now I have to pay for it, me without a tooth in my head, hoping to get ahead enough so I could eat God’s own victuals as a man should, and her hale and well as ere a woman in the land until that day. Got to pay for being put to need of that three dollars. Got to pay for them boys to have to go away to earn it.” Pg. 37

Anse’s quote truly points out how money is a factor in his happiness. He feels that money can fix a lot of the problems in his life, for example, in this quote; it’s his teeth that he would like to fix. Although he feels that money will make life better, it is obvious that he does not like to spend it, and he also does not like to earn it. Anse mentions the three dollars, which is being constantly being brought up in the first section of the book. Anse was worried at first about sending his sons to earn this money, because Addie was so close to death, but money was money, so he let them go. But when Addie dies while they are gone, I think this is a possible foreshadowing that the family will put money before other significant things in life.

So far, the motif of money, buying, and selling has shown how the family struggles financially, and not happy with where they are in society. Anse, although not happy with his economic state, does not want to do the work to earn it. He likes to make others around him do it for him. Although it is not completely clear yet, I think the motif of money is significant because it shows how although they are not happy where they are, they are happy that others are willing to help them. Yet, as time goes on, I predict that people will begin to not help as much after Addie dies, because they will become fed up with the family’s attitude. (Such as Peabody being aggravated that they did not contact him sooner when Addie was dying because he knew that they didn’t want to spend extra money.)

Brianna A said...

Brianna A. Language and Words

I’m not sure if because of my motif you mean specifically mentioned the words language or word or more just how the language is in generally with the words…so here’s a little of both.

Overall the language is very simple, and each monologue reflects the dialect of the characters. There is a lot of communication without direct words and that the repetition of some imagery and phrases add a lot to the communication between characters indirectly. For example how Darl knows Dewey-Dell’s secret. The language is often very vague and uses metaphors and merges to identify with ideas like on page 53 and 54. Italics are also used to sometimes distinguish between what is actually happening in the story rather than what the character is telling in his or her monologue. There are some uses of alliteration that blend together imagery and ideas well (i.e. Pg 4: shadow, spaces, soft, smooth, single, stride, steps). The uses of onomatopoeia add to this technique as well (i.e. Pg 5 Chuck. Chuck. Chuck.) The language used also reveals a fluid identity between characters and there are unclear boundaries that add to the transitions between characters just as we discussed in class. The pronouns that Faulkner uses doesn’t always make it clear who was speaking.

Darl “but he does not say the word…” 18
“I couldn’t get word to him…”
“I promised my word…” 19
“move with…to come awake.” 80

Cora “He just…for words.” 25

Dewey Dell “He said…because he knows.” 27

Dewey Dell 27 “He said he knew without the words like he told me that ma is going to die without the words, and I know he knew because if he has said he knew with the words I would not have believed that he has been there and saw us. But he said he did know and I said ‘Are you going to tell pa are going to kill him?’ without the words I said and he said ‘Why?’ without the words. And that’s why I can talk to him with knowing because he knows.”:

On page 27 Dewey Dell is talking about being pregnant. She monologues how her and Darl communicate, “without the words” and that if he talked to her “with the words” then she wouldn’t believe him. This signifies Faulkner’s technique of merging identities. Darl knows the situation Dewey Dell is in right away without using words. He acknowledges this to her and she keeps asking him what he will do and if he is going to kill Lafe. The connection between these characters signifies the blend of the whole Bundren family. The crisis that Dewey Dell is in parallels the crisis that the entire family is facing, one life is leaving their family as another life is arriving.

The technique of ambiguity in the language:

Faulkner uses unclear language in the monologues and dialogues to create the experience for the reader. For example, the reader is lost when Faulkner fails to use antecedents. Faulkner also finds a way to communicate ideas by talking around them or using metaphors to say things indirectly. Each character tells the story differently but they also use their own way of vague language. For example, on pg 85 when all Verdaman monologues is “My mother is a fish.” this idea touches with the animal motif but it is clear that Faulkner means something beyond referring to Addie as a fish.

Significance to the whole novel:

These examples of language and words create a meaning to the family value in As I Lay Dying. The unclear language and use of using words and not using words to communicate with other family members and characters create a closeness the reader can not always direct see in the monologues. Dewey Dell and Darl being able to communicate without using words in a hard time and during a hard time creates a bond between the two. Also the vague language and metaphors similar to each character create an easy transition between characters. This technique models the likeliness that a family must share to be able to deal with a traumatic experience.

Anonymous said...

Sarah. A. Motif - Animals.

Cora - Page 6 (speaking about the price of eggs) “We depend a lot on our chickens…than anything”
Darl - Page 11(Jewel and the horse) “down there…bitch he says”
Darl- Page 17 (talking about Anse) “the stubble…old dogs have”
Darl - Page 19 (comparing to mules) “I promised…could rest quiet”
Dewey Dell - Page 28 (talking about Tull) “and old…fool them”
Tull - Page 31 (Vardaman cleaning the fish) “you clean…hid again”
Tull - Page 32 (Cora speaking) “well, I reckon…chickens”
Anse - Page 38 (Vardaman and the chopped up fish) “bloody as a hog”
Peabody - Page 42 (Jewel and the horse) “where’s the horse?”
Darl - Page 49 (comparing Anse to an owl) “Pa leans…even thought”
Vardaman Page 53(comparing his mother to a fish) “fish was in the dust”
Vardaman Page 54-55 (continued)
Dewey Dell - Page 59 (talking about cash) “it is like…waiting to come in”
Dewey Dell- Page 60 (about cash) “the cow…cash is gone”
Dewey Dell -Page 60 (about the fish again) “where that…sit down”
Dewey Dell - Page 61 (the cow in the barn)“the cow…with silence”
Dewey Dell - Page 63 (cow) “the cow…face again”
Darl - Page 66 (comparing mother to rabbit) “and so if…nail it up”
Tull - Page 69 (Vernon) “he looked…in the mud”
Cash - Page 83 (talking about the coffin) “animal magnetism…bevel”
Vardaman - Page 84 (comparing his mom to a fish) “my mother is a fish”

Anonymous said...


“My mother is a fish” - Vardaman Page 84

Vardaman, being naïve in his thinking is confused about the concept of death. When he has the cut up fish in his hands, he confuses and or relates it to his mother’s death. Vardaman thinks about how it was once a fish, and then a not- fish. In a way this is very similar to his mother’s death because up until now, she was his mother. When she died, she was not his mother, but still his mother. He mixes his confusion with death with the thoughts about the fish that he has caught, killed, and cut up, and now is not a fish.

“His stubble gives his lower face the appearance that old dogs have” - Darl Page 17

I Chose this quote because it is a great example of how the book often describes an animal to describe another person’s appearance or attitude. I noticed that frequently Anse is described as different types of animals. As in here, he is described looking like an old dog and later compared to an owl. It is very easy to understand a character when you describe them through an animal, and it also shows how present animals are in this family’s life.

Significance of the motif

After their mother’s death some children of the family relate their diseased mother to animals. Jewel’s relationship with his mother is shown through the relationship he has with his horse. That relationship is almost a love-hate relationship, shown by how he kicks the horse. On the other hand, Vardaman relates his mother to the fish, that he catches and then cuts up, making it a “not- fish” just as his mother who was his mother, and now is not, although she still technically is. The whole family relates others to fish through characterization by describing others as animals. This shows very easily how to understand both characters, the one being described and the one describing, and it also shows how in this time and in the family, animals (especially barn animals) are present in their lives.

Megan Keegan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan Keegan said...

Megan K. Sanity and Insanity
p. 9 “Someone…toward the back.”
p. 12 “When Jewel…you sweet son of a bitch.”
p.24 “It was Darl…his heart too full for words.”
p. 31 “He says nothing…Durn nigh big as he is.”
p. 39 “It takes two…is that it?”
p. 43 “A man seventy…once I got started.”
p. 44 “She looks…rotten sticks.”
p. 71 “Now and then…when he sees it.”
p. 80 “I don’t know…I am is.”

“It was Darl. He came to the door and stood there, looking at his dying mother. He just looked at her, and felt the bounteous love of the Lord again and His mercy. I saw that with Jewel she had just been pretending, but that it was between her and Darl that the understanding and the true love was. He just looked at her, not even coming in where she could see him and get upset, knowing that Anse was driving him away and he would never see her again. He said nothing, just looked at her. “What you want, Darl?” Dewey Dell said, not stopping the fan, speaking up quick, keeping even him from her. He didn’t answer. He just stood and looked at his dying mother, his heart too full for words.” p. 24-25 Cora
“I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not. Jewel knows he is, because he does not know that he does not know whether he is or not. He cannot empty himself for sleep because he is not what he is and what he is not. Beyond the unlamped wall I can hear the rain shaping the wagon that is ours, the load that is no longer theirs that felled and sawed it nor yet theirs that bought it and which is not ours either, lie on our wagon though it does, since only the wind and the rain shape it only to Jewel and me, that are not asleep. And since sleep is is-not and rain and wind are was, it is not. Yet the wagon is, because when the wagon is was, Addie Bundren will not be. And Jewel is, so Addie Bundren must be. And then I must be, or I could not empty myself for sleep in a strange room. And so if I am not empties yet, I am is.” P. 80-81 Darl

Megan Keegan said...

In the first quotation, Cora is looking on the scene of Darl watching Addie dying on her deathbed. By this point, he has realized that she is going to die whether or not he is ok with it and has come to terms with it. In this moment it is clear that there is a side of Darl that is sane and feels anxiety and sadness towards his mother’s death. The second quote shows a completely different angle of Darl where he is making hardly any sense and is clearly acting insane. Insanity is important to this quote mainly because of the timing, this quote occurs right after Addie dies in the book which could possible be the cause of Darl’s nonsensical talk.
Sanity and insanity is very important to the novel because it reveals the way that a lot of the characters deal with death. With Darl especially, his mind is scrambled most of the time. As shown in the second quote, he is barely making any sense but keeps connecting him and his brother Jewel to their mother saying that she “is” and “must be”. Although it is difficult to identify which characters are sane and which are insane, the way that they interact and talk about each other and the way that they sympathize with death reveals a lot about them.

Anonymous said...

Terri M.
Motifs: Paternity/Masculinity

• Darl “Pa and Vernon are sitting on the back porch…Holding the lip outdrawn between thumb and finger.” Pg 10 ← Basically chewing tobacco, similar to smoking a pipe..kind of manly right?
• Darl “ Then I would wait until they all went to sleep…I could have wanted to or could have.” Pg 11 ← Masturbation…
• Darl “The horse enters the stall…Jewel strikes him across the face with his fist…” Pg 13← Manliness/macho through violence
• Darl “ Git up, now, and put super on…” Pg 50+51 ← Women do the cooking/chores mentality

There are many times where Cash’s carpentry skills are mentioned. To me the way Cash is described as such a hard worker reveals that he is a grotesque of the “hardworking man.” Here are some of the times.

• Tull “Cash us fixing tin nail her up…” Pg 70 ←Hardworking
• Tull “Cash going up and down with that saw” Pg 72 ←Hardworking
• Darl “ Cash Labors about the trestles, moving back and forth, lifting and placing the planks…” Pg 75 ←Hardworking
• Darl “ Cash works on…” Pg 76 ←Hardworking
• Darl “ She is looking out the window at Cash…” Pg 48 ←Hardworking

Anonymous said...

Terri M.
Masculinity and Paternity
Important Motif Appearance Analyzes

Pages 50+51
“I reckon you better get supper on,” he says.
Dewey Dell does not move.
“Git up, now, and put supper on,” pa says. “We got to keep our strength up. I reckon Doctor Peabody’s right hungry, coming all this way. And Cash’ll need to eat quick and get back to work so he can finish in time.”
Dewey Dell rises, heaving to her feet she looks down at the face. It is like a casting of fading bronze upon the billow, the hands alone still with any semblance of life: a curled, gnarled inertness; a spent yet alert quality from which weariness, exhaustion, travail has not yet departed, as though they doubted even yet the actuality of rest, guarding with horned and penurious alertness the cessation which they know cannot last.
Dewey Dell Stoops and slides the quilt from beneath them and draws it up over them to the chin, smoothing it down, drawing it smooth. Then without looking at pa she goes around the bed and leaves the room.

This passage contains a few motifs. Femininity, masculinity and social order are just a few of them portrayed. Masculinity is displayed in the way that Anse commands Dewey Dell to go make supper for all the men. Now that Addie has died Dewey Dell is going to have a great deal more responsibilities.
The fact that Addie has died and shows the reader all she did for the men by having her duties put on Dewey Dell. Dewey Dell seems more affected at this point than her father about the death of her mother. It would seem that perhaps Anse it concealing his feelings and is being unrealistic and insensitive to the prevailing events. Although it is true that everyone has to eat Anse seems to jump quickly to the next task at hand. Perhaps showing the grotesque form of men not being sensitive/thinking about current problems/issues but moving on hastily while not being aware of those around them.

Anonymous said...

Terri M.
Masculinity and Paternity
Important Motif Appearance Analyzes

Darl Pg 48

She is looking out the window, at Cash stooping steadily at the board in the failing light, laboring on toward darkness and into it as though the stroking if the saw illumined its own motion, board and saw engendered.
“You, Cash,” she shouts, her voice harsh, strong and unimpaired. “You, Cash!”
He looks up at the gaunt face framed by the window in the twilight. It is a composite picture of all time since he was a child. He drops the saw and lifts the board for her to see, watching the window I which the face has not moved. He drags a second plank into position and slants the two of them into their final juxtaposition, gesturing toward the ones yet on the ground, shaping with his empty hand in pantomime the finished box. For a while still she looks down at him from the composite picture, neither with censure nor approbation. Then the face disappears.

This passage is a ripe example of how Cash is a dedicated worker. He continues to work even up to the minute his mother dies he is always laboring over something. Cash is a grotesque character showing the readers the stereotypical male who is always working for his family. The work that Cash engages in is carpentry. This magnifies the grotesqueness of his character because he is not doing any old job, he is doing a “manly” job.

Meredith S said...

Meredith S.
Motif: Tools/building

Darl (re: describes Cash building and the sound of the adze) pages 4-5
Cora (re: "We can hear the saw in the board. It sounds like snoring.") page 9
Jewel (re: anger about Cash building Addie's coffin outside her window) pages 14-15
Cora (re: "...with Cash a good carpenter and always building more than he can get around to.") page 24
Dewey Dell (re: "And Cash like sawing the long hot sad yellow days up into planks and nailing them into something.") page 26
Tull (re: "We can hear Cash a-hammering and sawing beyond the corner.") page 30
Anse (re: frustration with Cash working on building the church) page 36
Darl (re: "...from here he cannot even hear Cash sawing.") page 13
Darl (re: hears Cash's saw "snoring" into a board) page 46
Darl (re: "Cash comes to the door, carrying the saw.") page 49
Darl (re: "He enters, carrying the saw.") page 50
Darl (re: watches Cash building the coffin) pages 75-79
Cash (re: describing his building process) pages 82-38

Meredith S said...

Quotation No. 1:
Jewel speaking, page 14: "It's because he stays out there, right under the window, hammering and sawing on that goddamn box. Where she's got to see him. Where every breath she draws is full of his knocking and sawing where she can see him saying See. See what a good one I am making for you."
This quote addresses Jewel's frustration with Cash's insistence to build Addie's coffin directly outside of her window. It is clear that Jewel is feeling protective of his mother. The closeness in proximity of Addie to her coffin makes the eminence of her death more threatening to him. He tries to defend his frustration with Cash by saying that Addie has the same feelings towards the matter. He seems disgusted that everyone is sitting around waiting for his mother to die. The fact that Cash is building the coffin represents how, from Jewel's perspective, he has given up on Addie. Jewel is not willing to do the same.

Quotation No. 2:
Anse speaking, page 36: "Making me pay for Cash having to get them carpenter notions when if it hadn't been no road come there, he wouldn't a got them; falling off of churches and lifting no hand in six months and me and Addie slaving and a-slaving, when there's plenty of sawing on this place he could do if he's go to saw."
This reveals how Anse is firmly set in his beliefs and way of thinking. He is against the road because he does not think God intended for people to travel, especially his own son. The road only led to Cash falling off of the church and not being able to do work, which sets Anse further into his stubborn beliefs. Anse does not understand why Cas should build elsewhere besides his own home.

The Motif of Tool/Building
The tools/building motif appears in the book up to this point exclusively in relation to Cash. Cash's saw is mentioned the most frequently. Each character seems to have their own opinion about Cash's affinity for building. The most apparent of these is Anse's frustration with Cash's building away from home, where it cannot be a benefit to himself in anyway.

Anonymous said...

Terri M.

Short Essay on Masculinity and Paternity relating to the whole in As I Lay Dying up to page 84

So far in As I Lay Dying, masculinity and paternity has come up in variety of ways, displayed through different characters. The character Cash plays a big role. He is a grotesque, who displays the mentality that men are the caring breadwinners, and hard workers in families. They usually work in the trades. Anse does not work as hard as his son, which is something I find interesting. Cash seems to be one of the more reliable characters. Not all the males in the book are particularly masculine or reliable. Cash seems to rise above them as the strongest masculine symbol in the book thus far.

amycarpenter57 said...

Amy C.
Dark Humor

Cora (says riches are nothing to God then proceeds to think of how to sell her cake) pg. 7
Cora (comments on the price of Eula’s necklace) pg. 9
Darl (Jewel and the horse) pg. 11-13
Jewel (talking about Cash and the bread panful of dung) pg. 14
Darl (talking about how his father says if he sweats he’ll die) pg. 17
Cora ({In retrospect}saying Jewel was “a Bundren through and through”) pg. 22
Cora (talking about going to sit by Addie on her deathbed) pg. 22
Dewey Dell (Lafe picking into her sack) pg. 27
Dewey Dell (Darl was the one who made Jewel go) pg. 28
Tull (“The Lord giveth”…but never finishing the quote) pg 30
Anse (“Get up and move then.” But he doesn’t) pg. 35
Anse(“I know that the Old Marster will care for me as for ere a sparrow that falls.”)Pg.38
Darl (It takes two people to make you, and one people to die. That’s how the world is going to end.”) pg. 39
Peabody (“at first I would not go because there might be something I could do and I would have to haul her back,”) pg. 41
Peabody (trees and Anse Bundren) pg. 42
Dewey Dell (Anse chiding her about not cooking the fish) pg. 60
Tull(last sentence of first paragraph) pg. 71
Cash (all of Cash’s chapter) pg. 82-83
Vardaman (“My mother is a fish.”) Pg. 84

amycarpenter57 said...

Dewey Dell

“I said if it don’t mean for me to do it the sack will not be full and I will turn up the next row but if the sack is full, I cannot help it. It will be that I had to do it all the time and I cannot help it. And we picked on toward the secret shade and our eyes would drown together touching on his hands and my hands and I didn’t say anything. I said “What are doing?” and he said “I am picking into your sack.” And so it was full when we came to the end of the row and I could not help it.” Pg. 27

What’s funny about this passage is that the girl is deciding whether or not to sleep with a guy by whether or not her sack is full at the end of the row, but Lafe (the boy) subverts this by picking into Dewey Dell’s sack so she “has” to sleep with him. I just find it funny when suddenly on the page you see “I am picking into your sack.” and you know what it implies. This motif adds to the shaping of Dewey Dell’s character, namely that she is passive and submissive.

Sabrina said...

Sabrina P.
Motif: Sexuality
Darl (re: Darl talking about masturbating) 11
Dewey Dell (re: Dewey Dell talking about if she fills up her sack she will sleep with Lafe) 27
Peabody (re: Peabody talking about the look in Addie’s eyes, even though its medical attention he relates in to a “desire”) 45
Vardaman (re: he is talking about a cow who is moaning, saying he is going to milk it and being weird) 55
Dewey Dell (re: she is talking about the cow too, she says to the cow that it has nothing on her even if it’s a women, and talks about how it is moaning.) 63
1.) Pg 11, Darl. “After that I was bigger, older. Then I would wait until they all went to sleep so I could lie with my shirt-tail up, hearing them asleep, feeling myself without touching myself, feeling the cool silence blowing upon my parts and wondering if Cash was yonder in the darkness doing it too, had been doing it perhaps for the last two years before I could have wanted to or could have.”

Sabrina said...

2.) Pg 27, Dewey Dell. “We picked on down the row, the woods getting closer and closer and the secret shade, picking on into the secret shade with my sack and Lafe’s sack. Because I said will I or wont I when the sack was half full because I said if the sack is full when we get to the woods it wont be me. I said if it don’t mean for me to do it the sack will not be full and I will turn up the next row but if the sack is full, I cannot help it. It will be that I had to do it all the time and I cannot help it. And we picked on toward the secret shade and our eyes would drown together touching on his hands and my hands and I didn’t say anything. I said “what are you doing?” and he said “I am picking into your sack.” And so it was full when we came to the end of the row and I could not help it.

The first quotation where Darl is talking about maturing as a boy and doing something that he had witnessed Cash doing is significant to the theme of sexuality because it shows him growing up. Darl has many different sides of him, and this quote reveals his sexuality. Throughout the first part of the book (pages 3-84) Darl has a limited relationship with his brother Cash. Unlike the way that Jewel talks about Cash, Darl puts him under a more positive light. In this quote Darl’s sexuality is revealed because of him coming out and telling us what he feels. Because of the use of this motif, we learn another side of Carl’s unusual character.

Sabrina said...

In the second quotation, Dewey Dell is contemplating whether or not she is going to sleep with Lafe. She ends up doing a sort of “if this happens I will, if it doesn’t I won’t” game. In the quote she does not directly say that this is what she is thinking about, but the language suggests it. When she talks about touching his hand and drowning together, you can picture the scene in your head. After this, she says “so it was full when we came to the end of the row and I could not help it,” which tells us that she does decide to sleep with Lafe. The motif is prevalent in this quote.
The significance of the motif sexuality in the novel is that it emphasizes the relationship between characters. Although most of the characters are family so they do not have a sexual relationship, their differences of experiences show their opposing sides. By evaluating their sexual thoughts and actions you can learn more about the characters actions and why they do certain things. For example, although it is never actually said, much of the narration of Dewey Dell is in a sexual tone, which eventually reveals that she is pregnant. This is suggested in the quote on page 63 (listed above).

amycarpenter57 said...


“When Anse finally sent for me of his own accord, I said “He has wore her out at last.” And I said a damn good thing, and at first I would not go because there might be something I could do and I would have to haul her back, by God. I thought maybe they have the same sort of fool ethics in heaven they have in the Medical College and that it was maybe Vernon Tull sending for me again, getting me there in the nick of time, as Vernon always does things, getting the most for Anse’s money like he does for his own..”

There is something darkly humorous about a doctor that clearly does not care for his patients. Peabody is a grotesque for the unethical professionals in the world, lampshaded by his grumbling about ethics. Faulkner uses dark humor in this quote, underscoring how the community feels about the Bundrens.

amycarpenter57 said...

Throughout the novel, Faulkner is using dark humor, not only to add depth to the ongoing action, usually by pointing out some irony or ridiculousness of a situation, but also to support the other themes and motifs he’s got going in it. It is most often used with sexuality as a way to twist the general conception of sex. He uses it when speaking about Cora Tull’s religion to show the reader who she really is. Dark Humor, so far, is really more of an auxiliary motif, supporting other motifs and making them stronger and conveying slightly different meanings.

Nick B said...

Nick B. – Hope and Despair

Cora – pg. 22 (re: despair at the Bundren’s greed – “loving nobody, caring for nothing”

Darl – pg. 17 (re: Jewel and Tull’s hope that Addie is okay – “Ma aint that sick. That’s right, she seems more like herself today than she has in a week”

Anse – pg. 37 (re: hope/denial of Addie’s inevitable death – “She’s just a little tired”

Darl – pg. 39 (re: despair at futility of the world – “That’s how the world is going to end”

Cora – pg. 22 - “Not him to come and tell her goodbye. Not him to miss a chance to make that extra three dollars at the price of his mother’s goodbye kiss. A Bundren through and through, loving nobody, caring for nothing except how to get something with the least amount of work.”

Cora is pretty disgusted with the Bundren’s choice to make the last trip to town with Addie on her death bed. It seems like she’s from a different culture, she’s subservient to Vernon and she talks different, so I think it’s easier for her to be unpleasantly surprised by the greed and harshness of the world she now lives in. Also the part she throws in about doing it with the least amount of work is kind of out of place, she’s upset that they’re leaving their dying mother for three dollars; how is that related to little work? I think the situation gives her a chance to voice her dissatisfaction with her surrounding society, as well as a chance for Faulkner to subtlety distinguish her from the rest of the characters.

Darl – pg. 39 – “It takes two people to make you, and one people to die. That’s how the world is going to end.”

Darl has been hit hard by Addie’s death, and to cope with the sadness he’s incessantly bringing up her death to the rest of the family, almost trying to get them to tell him it’s all a lie. Here he offers a grim outlook toward a broader idea, the condition of man. “Two people to make you, and one people to die” really brings home the futility of our lives. What do we struggle for if mankind is inevitably going to end? And not even just mankind, according to Darl, but the world itself is going to end. How much of that is his depression making him think wildly, and how much does that stem from the hinted at clairvoyant powers he has? I think the meaning will come clearer as we dig deeper into Darl’s character.

Hope and Despair:
Hope and despair are common motifs in the beginning of the book. With their mother dying, the children and Anse all are experiencing extreme emotions. Who feels hopeful and who feels despair, as well as when they feel these things, is interesting. Cora despairs at the condition of the world, Darl is just depressed and obsessed in despair, but Anse and Jewel both experiment with hope (or denial) about Addie’s impending death. It makes it seem like Anse and Jewel are less mature, as they can’t deal with the truth, and Darl is more mature, because he is facing it. But the extremes that Darl takes it too flip him over to the immature side as well. And Cora is just somewhat pessimistic about her neighbor’s characters. So though hope and despair are important motifs in this section of the book, their full meaning has yet to be revealed.

Molly A said...

Molly A.
Motif: Maternity/Feminism

Cora-page 7, typical housewife and motherly chores
Cora-page 23, finding praise for her family (husband and children) only.
Peabody-page 45, the drive he describes in Addie, to be with her family before she dies.
Darl-page 48, Addie’s gaunt face and the understanding & emotion Cash feels seeing it.
Dewey Dell- page 59, After Addie has passed away, Dewey Dell immediately looks out for Vardaman.
Dewey Dell- page 63, What the female cow has inside it, versus what she has inside her.
Tull-page 71, Describing Cora’s dedication to Christianity and motherhood.
Tull-page 73, Talking with Cora, about her strength to live by God’s will, and his only.

Molly A said...

Molly A.
Quotation 1--
Page 45- PEABODY- (When Addie wants to be with her family before she dies)
“When we enter the room she is watching the door. She looks at me. Her eyes look like lamps blaring up just before the oil is gone. ‘She wants you to go out,’ the girl says. ’Now Addie,’ Anse says, ’when he come all the way from Jefferson to git you well?’ She watches me: I can feel her eyes. It’s like she was shoving me with them. I have seen it before in women.”

The significance of this passage is that, it is the first time the reader is able to see a glimpse of Addie’s personality. Until that point, the audience is familiar with her condition, her surroundings, her family, but they have yet to know her. She is too weak and ill to have a substantial perspective or opinion, so her life is portrayed through the perspective of others. But, at that moment, when she knows she will die and she demands her family next to her, a hidden determination shines through. It was exceptionally maternal and protective, but private and feminine at the same time. For the first time, it is understood why Cash is out sawing every day and why Dewey Dell rarely leaves Addie’s side. It is because, despite the comments from Cora, they are a strong, close family that wants to be together until their last moments.

Molly A said...

Molly A.
Quotation 2--
Page 23- CORA
“’Don’t tell me,’ I said. ‘A woman’s place is with her husband and children, alive or dead. Would you expect me to want to go back to Alabama and leave toy and the girls when my time comes, that I left of my own will to cast my lot with yours for better and worse, until death and after?’ I should hope so. I have tried to live right in the sight of God and man, for the honor and comfort of my Christian husband and the love and respect of my Christian children. So that when I lay me down in the consciousness of my duty and reward I will be surrounded by loving faces, carrying the farewell kiss of each of my loved ones into my reward. Not like Addie Bundren dying alone…”

The significance of this passage is that Cora makes a seemingly valid, yet harsh, point towards the beginning of the novel. The audience asks questions, such as : Why are some of Addie’s children away at such a crucial time? Why is she watching her son built the coffin she will lay in? The novel is begun with this mindset, that as long as a mother watches and cares for her family, and them only, she is doing her job as a mother the best she can. Cora, before the reader understand the characters, seems to be doing just that, in the most traditional and conservative way. However, it is through the development of the novel’s plot and characters, that a series of more complex family relationships are revealed. This is where the understanding of the Bundren family is discovered: not through the eyes of it’s matriarch, but from the perspective of those around her.

Molly A said...

Molly A. Maternity/Feminism
Maternity and feminism are significant motifs in As I Lay Dying, because the most predominant female characters, Addie, Cora, and Dewey Dell, are all so different, yet they are maternal and feminine. Cora, illustrates a woman who is dedicated, solely, to the wellbeing of her family, so enthusiastically, that she acts hateful towards others. Dewey Dell is maternal in the absence of her mother and is almost always involved with feminine and sexual situations and connections. Addie, before her death, exposed a different sort of family and motherliness to the eyes of the reader. Her ways seem unconventional and occasionally selfish, until the power of her maternal connections is exemplified with Cash and Vardamon. With each situation, it comes into question: what maternity is. Is it a mother who dedicates everything to her children? Or is it a mother and child who share a bond that can only be explained and understood by themselves? What is so important and critical about this motif, is that its meaning varies and develops throughout the novel, with each character and each relationship.

B Shay said...

Brendan S Religion

p.7 Cora “Riches is nothing in the face of the Lord, for he can see into the heat”
p.8 Cora “The Lord can see into the Heat”
p.15 Jewel “Cash fell off the church and if it had just been me when Pa laid sick with that load of wood fell on him, it would not be happening with every bastard in the country coming into state at her because if there is a God what the hell is he for?”
p.23 Cora “I have tried to live right in the sight of God and man, for the honor and comfort of my Christian husband and for the love and respect of my Christian children” “She dies a Christian death”
p.24 Cora “The cord restores my faith and reveals time his bounteous love for his creatures”
p.30 Dewey Dell “the Lord giveth”
Cora “ Clouds like that don’t lie, and the cotton making every say the lord sends”
P32-33. Anse “Hoping to get ahead enough so I could get my mouth fixed where I could get God’s own victuals as mans should”
“I am not religious, I recon, but peace is in my heart”
p.41 Peabody “I thought maybe they have the same sort of fool ethics in heaven as they have in medical school”
Anse “ Too bad the Lord made the mistake of giving trees roots and giving the Anse Bundrens He makes feet land legs”
“I believe death to be a phenomenon of the body, no I know it to be merely a function of the mine”
p.52 Pa “God’s will be done”
p.58 Dewey Dell “ God gave women a signal when something has happened bad”
p.66 Vardaman “ God made me. I did not said to God to made me in the country”
p.71 “For the Lord aimed for him to do and not to spend too much time thinking, because his brain it’s like a piece of machinery: it wont stand a whole lot of racking.

B Shay said...

Quote 1

P. 23 Cora “I have tried to live right in the sight of God and man, for the honor and comfort of my Christian husband and for the love and respect of my Christian children”

It is clear that with this quote and many others that Cora is a deeply religious woman. She thinks that everyone should serve God, and that serving God is the meaning of life. I use this quote because it’s basically saying she wants her family to be Christian and to love God. Yet there are so very many quotes I could have used because it seems that nearly all of her thoughts and actions are somewhat related to God or religion. All this thought of Addie’s deaths is probably getting her thinking of possible past sin and maybe trying to blame someone for it?

Quote 2

p.15 Jewel “Cash fell off the church and if it had just been me when Pa laid sick with that load of wood fell on him, it would not be happening with every bastard in the country coming into state at her because if there is a God what the hell is he for?”

As much as this quote has to do with community rather than religion, I’m using it for religion cause it’s the only one I could find with Cash falling off the church skimming through the book. Well it may just be a coincidence that Cash fell off a Church, but I do not think so at this moment. Cash was volunteering to help rebuild the Church, when he accidentally fell off the church and broke something. He did not fall off by accident, God pushed him off in punishment. Why would someone who was ever so kindly helping the church be punished by God? It is possible (it is not clear to me at this point) that Cash may have a darker side to him, something sinister. All we really know right now is that he is a good carpenter and that he likes order.


Well I think that the motif Religion is kind of secretly bonding everyone in the community. Not everyone believes and practices religion, but everyone thinks about it. Some people like Cora use it as guidance in life, while people like Vardaman might use it as an answer for his confusion. It is possible that Dewey Dell might be looking to the Lord for Guidance with her little predicament. Some will ask, but will they get an answer? People will be using religion to try to explain the actions of others, and to ask questions such as why they live in such a community? The lack of answers might spark some drama In an already stressful situation.

fenkor said...

Hidenori O. Existence and Identity

Darl-(Jewel and Darl walking through a path between rows of cotton) p3
Darl-("a good carpenter, Cash is") p4
Cora-(she has the final say in the purchase of chickens and talks about having to sell eggs from being too poor otherwise) p6
Cora-("Riches is nothing in the face of the Lord") p7
Cora-("They turned out real well") p7
Cora-(Eula has a necklace only 25 cents) p9
Darl-(Pa has worn feet from working hard) p11
Darl-(Jewel has a love hate relationship with his horse) p13
Jewel-(wants his mom to be left alone) p15
Darl-(Jewel talks about his mom's death and yet can't say coffin) p18
Darl-(mom waiting to return to her birth place on death) p19
Cora-(talks about religion and a reward) p23
Dewey Dell-("I could not help it") p27
Tull-(judges Anse on wife's death) p30
Anse-(not religious but haven't done too much bad or good) p38
Peabody-(is a doctor and talks about ethics) p41
Tull-(Cora crowds people but she is needed) p71
Darl-(Cash leads Pa into the house) p78
Cash-(makes a list) p82
Vardaman-("My mother is a fish") p84

fenkor said...

H. Ono

Tull: "it's just like him to marry a woman born a day's hard ride away and have her die on him" p30

Tull is judging Anse and saying that he is just the kind of man to have bad luck. Society views Anse as someone who doesn't belong. The quote shows that Anse has worked hard for his wife by going to a far away place to get her. But in the end that effort was worthless as she ends up dying on him. Anse admits that he isn't very religious and Tull does too. It is ironic that two similar people can't meet eye to eye.

Francesco P said...

Frankie P.
Sorry this is late, Sick Wednesday and just saw this on the Blog.

Motif: Secrets
Cora pp 7 (Riches is nothing in the face of the lord, He can see with into the heart)

Darl pp 11 (I used to lie on the pallet in the hall, waiting until I could hear them all asleep, so I could get up and go back to the bucket)

Cora pp 22 (…Mrs Bundren likes Jewel the least of all, but I knew better. She was partial to him..)

Cora pp 24 ( I saw that with Jewel she had just been pretending, but that it was between her and Darl that the understanding and the true love was)

Darl pp 40 (She wouldn’t say what we both knew. “The reason you will not say it is, when you say it, even to yourself you will know it is true: is that it?

Darl pp 51 (If you just knew. I am I and you are you and I know it and you don’t know it and you could do so much for me if you just would and if you just would then I could tell you and then nobody would have to know it except you and me and Darl.

Tull pp 73 (When they taken the lid off they found that two of them had bored on into her face)

Darl pp 11 (I used to lie on the pallet in the hall, waiting until I could hear them all asleep, so I could get up and go back to the bucket)
The element of secrets is quite pivotal to understanding the character of Darl. He is a character that we can perceive as independent minded, and highly perceptive and these aspects of him are what make it so evident that there are secrets that he maintains. This quote exemplifies his keen awareness, as he waits for the family to all be asleep and then goes outside to derive some pleasure from the night breeze. The enigmatic essence is also very evident when we perceive that Darl may have extra sensory perception in his capability to be aware of things even beyond his vision in narrating a scene while he is absent.

Cora pp 24 ( I saw that with Jewel she had just been pretending, but that it was between her and Darl that the understanding and the true love was)
Cora’s perceptions when looking into Addies eyes tell us much from the predominantly silent, dying character. We know that she feels the need to maintain this veneer of motherly love with Jewel. Its feasible that this veneer may be the feeling of obligation that Addie feels towards Jewel, for some unknown reason to the reader. The juxtaposition of her genuine sentiments towards Darl make it that much more apparent that there is something of Jewel which she not known at the surface.

Because of the stream of consciousness style of the novel, the reader is left to decipher most of the scenes from each individual’s characters point of view through clues left by the narrators attention. Through these clues, the reader can synthesize a logical order of what is occurring within the novel. Though, because nothing is explicitly described, secrets tend to appear from what one character thinks about something and the lack of knowledge another character has about that certain something. It makes the narrative more challenging for the reader, who must maintain the secrets that are unveiled within the narrative and piece them together with other characters perspectives.

fenkor said...

H. Ono

Peabody: p41 "When Anse finally sent for me of his own accord, I said "He has wore her out at last."

Peabody is a doctor from town and even he has heard about Anse. Here there is someone from far away judging who Anse is like without really knowing him. A part of a person's identity is what others interpret from a person's actions. In this case what the neighbors say about Anse has determined what a person from town thinks about Anse. The quote implies that Anse hasn't been good to his wife and has been nothing but trouble.

So far in the novel existence and identity or ontology is a key part of this novel. Each passage is narrated by one character who tells what they observe and feel directly. Through this the reader can indirectly undersand who the people are and what they see in the world. Every event can have a different meaning for each person and what they see and miss are also part of it. Similar to a journal entry, there are passages where there are discussions on what they think about religion and events that only they experience. Put together a person's life story can be put together piece by piece.