Thursday, March 10, 2011

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

As I Lay Dying is a novel about the Bundren family traveling through Mississippi to fulfill their mother and wife’s last request. The novel is set up as The Poisionwood Bible was, each character telling their side of the story. As I Lay Dying begins with the Bundren family preparing for Addie’s death. When Mrs. Bundren says her last request is to be buried across the Mississippi country side in Jefferson, the family accepts her request. As they travel across towns, each family member shares their part of the story, how they feel about their mother’s death, and the difficulties they are going through. As the journey continues, more tension grows between family members. Darl, one of the sons, constantly talks about his “obsession” with his brother Jewel and how Jewel was the favorite child. Also, the only alive female speaker in the book Dewey Dell, the daughter is pregnant and wants an abortion. The father Anse has problems with his family and the fact that Addie had an affair, and although Addie is dead she too has several chapter were she is talking about her life before when things were good. Once the family reaches Jefferson, they bury Addie. Once Addie’s last request was accomplished the story ends with Mr. Bundren, Anse, approaching the children with shocking news of their new mother. He states, “Meet Mrs. Bundren.”


  1. Mr. Bundren never forgot about the affair Addie had, and Dewey Dell was the only female chacter in the story who refused to do chores. Do you think Mr. Bundren got a new wife for revenge on Addie for having an affair, or do you believe that Mr. Bundren thought the family needed a mother to take care of the children and housework?
  2. If someone that hurt you in your life had a dying request would you fulfill it even though you never forgave them? Why or why not?

19 comments:

Brad S 11-12 said...

2. It depends on what the request was, but if it wasn't anything that wouldn't tear me apart too much, i would. Last requests are the last thing people will remember and i believe that it would be nice if you could try to make them happy before they pass away. The past is useless to think about in the present if you're only thinking about the bad things. Learn from the past, don't never hold regrets or grudges.

Kelsey M. 11/12 said...

2) I guess it would depend on what they did to me. I tend to be a very forgiving person and cannot stay mad at people for a long time. I would probably fulfill their request because I would want them to do the same for me. If they died and I did not help them, I would probably feel really bad for the rest of my life. I believe that everyone deserves second chances and that life is too short to hold grudges. Therefore, I would not want them to die without fufilling their last request.

Erika B 13-14 said...

2. As long as it was not something that would cause harm to myself, I would definitely carryout their request. The worst thing one could do is take advantage or hurt someone who is helpless and dying. Even if I absolutely hated them, it is only right that I would help them with their dying request. That way they would truely be able to rest in peace, and I would hopefully be able to put the past and whatever wrong they had previously done to me behind me.

Betsy C 1314 said...

To answer the second question, I do not think that I would be able to fulfill it. I would probably regret it forever, but I have a hard time forgiving and forgetting.

Kara K. 5/6 said...

2) Whether it was someone that hurt me or my closest friend, I would still do everything in my power to fulfill their request. The worst thing for a person to do is not fulfill a dying person's last reqest and make their last day or so bad. I think that every person should be able to have their last days of their lives be the best possible for them. Also, I believe that most people deserve a second chance; therefor, I may have already forgiven them. I forgive but I never forget what someone did to me. The right thing for anyone to do is to fulfill a person's request so they are able to live the happiest last days of their life before they are gone.

Leah A 5-6 said...

Yes, i agree i would also fulfill someones last request. Kara I agree with you, i believe people also deserve a second chance.

Kelsey M. 13-14 said...

2. I think that I would fulfill their request because if someone can hurt you it usually means you used to care for them or loved them and I think everyone deserves to have their final wished granted.

Bojana D 11.12 said...

1. I think that Mr. Bundren thought the family needed a mother to take care of housework and children. If he wanted revenge, I think that he wouldn't have fulfilled her last wish. I think that a healthy family usually needs a mother, to do the housework and be there for the family, to do the things that th father cannot.

Joe K. 11-12 said...

I would still fulfill the request to answer number two. I would for a couple of key reasons. One, I feel that by ignoring the request that you could acquire some very bad karma. Two, it is just the right thing to do. No matter the past conflicts, death is eternal, meaning that person can never come back again. It is only right to do all you can to make good on their dying request.

LibbyS5/6 said...

To answer question two, yes I would fulfill their dying request. I believe that life is about forgiveness and about being the bigger person. Forgiveness, in many situations, doesn't come easily but I think having the strength to forgive someone proves that you can be stronger than you ever thought you could be.

Megan L.11-12 said...

To answer number 2, I would most definitely fulfill their request even though I still had mixed feelings about our relationship in life. Someone's dying wish is worth more than a grudge, it's not like he or she is asking me in life to do something and going behind my back and having an affair. Mrs. Bundren couldn't have cheated on him again because she was dead...so it was right to bury her.

To answer 1, I haven't read the novel obviously but I don't think I can say that it was out of spite or out of care for his family. It is possible that he had an affair also with this woman and once Mrs. Bundren died, he had opportunity to marry another woman. But it is also possible that while travelling to Mississippi he met someone who could fill the lonely void that his wife left in death.

KatherineS13-14 said...

2) It would depend on two factors: what the person did that hurt me so much that I didn't forgive them, and what the final request was. If I could forgive them and if the request was reasonable, I would fulfill that request.

tyler k 13-14 said...

Being a "live and let live" kind of person so with past conflict aside, I would take the moral and higher road and fulfill their last request.

David G. 13-14 said...

2. I think everyone deserves to be honored when they pass away so I personally believe that past conflicts or feelings should be set aside to pay respects to those that are no longer with us.

James F (11-12) said...

2. it depends on the situation really. if the person hurt me in a way that i felt was completely unforgivable then i would not go through with their dying wish. i wouldnt care about what they wanted. now if that person hurt me in a little way then i would definitely consider going through with their wish. but that again depends on how much i approve of what they want me to do.

Dana G. 13-14 said...

#2
I think I would fulfill their wish to an extent, but would find someone else to help me. I would feel bad not doing it, even though u really would not want to.

Kenneth C.M. 13-14 said...

2) More than likely not. It really depends on how they hurt me. If it was something petty and I knew it, then I feel like I would forgive them and fulfill the wish

Deanna K 5-6 said...

Probably a little bit of both. He may say that it was really just to have a mother to take care of the family but i feel deep down it had to be partly to get revenge, at least subconsciously.
Depending on their wish, i may or may not. If i never forgave the person for hurting me, I doubt i'd be able to do something for them whole heartedly.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

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