As I Lay Dying Mind Map

As I Lay Dying
Overview
Main Characters
Themes
In the fictional northern Mississippi county Yoknapatawpha, Addie Bundren is dying, and her son Cash is building her coffin. Her husband, Anse, wants to bury her in Jefferson, 40 miles away. The story of the family's journey to bury Addie is alternately a comedy of errors and a dark portrait of a group plagued by poverty and ill will.
Addie Anse's
unhappy wife; dying and then dead matriarch
Vardaman
Imaginative youngest son; decides his mother is a fish
Cash
Patient oldest son; carpenter who builds Addie's coffin
Dewey Dell
Unintelligent 17-year-old; newly pregnant daughter
Darl
Intelligent second son; tries to burn mother's coffin
Anse
Family patriarch; poor farmer who wants false teeth
Main Topic
WILLIAM FAULKNER 1897-1962
Jewel
Passionate, independent third son; child of Addie and the minister
Symbols
Numbering
Poverty
Every action is dictated by the desperate need for money or the need to purchase something.
Cruelty
The Bundren family members lie and steal money and possessions from one another.
Grieving
Addie grieves for the life she lost in marriage; most family members grieve for Addie.
Money
Represents what the family lacks
Coffin
Symbolizes death and the suffering of the poor
Animals
Serve as symbols of Addie or of challenges for each of the children
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Novels Faulkner published over more than 35 years of writing
1
Days of hard riding it should have taken the Bundrens to get to Jefferson
6
Weeks Faulkner claimed it took to write As I Lay Dying
2
Books inspired by As I Lay Dying—Last Orders by Graham Smith and Getting Mother's Body by Suzan-Lori Parks
Faulkner grew up in Mississippi, where he based his fictional Yoknapatawpha County. Despite heavy drinking, Faulkner wrote brilliantly and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949. The experimental As I Lay Dying, which features multiple narrators, is one of his finest novels.
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