Monday, April 25, 2011

As I Lay Dying

William Faulkner's famed novel, As I Lay Dying, takes place in Mississippi during a time of racism and bigotry. The mother of poor family, who live in a rural town, is on her deathbed and the entire family contributes a little something in the end of her life. The novel is told in fifteen different perspectives. Cash, her eldest son, works on making a coffin for his mother while the neighbors take care of her. Addie then dies the next day and placed into the coffin. One of her sons, Vardamere, believes he accidentally caused her death by feeding her a bad fish. This thought is so buried in his mind, that he opens the coffin and bores two holes into his mother's head, on accident again. While this is happening, Addie's daughter, Dewey Dell, is more focused on her unexpected pregancy than her mother's death. Addie's funeral is held the next day. She had only one wish: to be buried in the town of Jefferson. Although her husband wanted other worldly materials, he agrees and the males haul Addie away in a wagon, but one son, Jewel, refuses to travel in the wagon with the coffin. As their travels lead to the night, the boys stay with an accepting family, who do not believe burying Addie in Jefferson is a great idea. However, the family travels on but face complications when they learn the bridge across the river has flooded. They make a raft to attempt to make it across but a log in the river throws the coffin overboard. Luckily, a man named Vernon Toll helps them recover the coffin and eventually cross the flooded river. Tull's wife recalls Addie's unchristian life. Through a flashback, the reader sees Addie's affair with a priest, which produced Jewel, and the loveless marriage of Addie and her husband. Anse, her husband, then uses the money he was saving for false teeth, Cash's money for a gramophone, and traded in Jewel's most prized possession, his horse, to pay for a new set of mules to continue their journey. As the family reaches the town called Mottson, the stench of Addie's corpse negativiely attracts the twonspeople. That night, another son, Darl, attempts to burn the coffin by burning the farmhouse in which it rests. However, Jewel not only saves the coffin, but also all the animals inside. Darl realizes his sin and weeps over the coffin asking for forgiveness. Back home, Dewey wants to buy an abortion drug but the pharmacist suggests marriage is a better way out. The next morning, the family arrives in Jefferson, where they finally bury Addie. When the entire family is reunited, Anse sports his new false teeth... and his new bride.

1. If you were in a loveless marriage like Anse, would you request separation even though it could affect your children's lives?

2. Even if there was no love in the relationship, would you attempt to fulfill a close one's dying wish?

3. What is more important in a relationship: love or respect?

14 comments:

CorinneS5/6 said...

A loveless marriage, even for children, can easily produce an unhappy life for both partners. I would hope to avoid this type of situation in the first place but if it was for the well-being of my children I may be willing to sacrafice my own happiness. If I had spent my life with someone ,even if i did not love them, I would honor their dying wish out of respect for all the things they have done for me. In a relationship love is more important because love produces respect most of the time and makes people forgive eachother.

MaryL11-12 said...

Question 1:
If I were in a loveless marriage I would talk to my kids about it. It really depends on how old they are - if they're grown up and moved out of the house then it doesn't matter very much, but if they're just starting to grow up and they need a father figure in their life, I would probably stick it out as long as the marriage wasn't harmful to me.
Questin 3:
Respect is definitely more important. You can love someone with all your heart but if you don't have respect for them or their opinions, if you don't respect them enough to trust them, the love aspect will eventually fall through. Respect must come first in order for love to follow and be successful.

Hannah L 13-14 said...

To answer your third question, I do not think either one is more important. I believe that you can't have love without respect, although you can have respect without love. In a relationship one deserves to be respected but love is always important because a relationship can't actually exist without some form of love, whether it be a friendship type of relationship or a romantic one.

Rachael B MOds 5-6 said...

I am completely convinced that love and respect are the two most important factors in a relationship by FAR, and neither can be chosen over the other. I think that the love is something unconditional. A person needs to be devoted to their partner as well as have a loving disposition towards their partner at all times. Too much of a good thing cann never be a good thing. Also, respect is a major factor because it forces both people in a relationship to be considerate and sacrificial for the other person. People both need to be contributing to the well-being of the relationship, and I feel like both people should know that they are being respected by their partner with trust, love, support and gentle criticism.

Relationships are a compromise, and it takes love AND respect to acheive this.

Heather M. 13-14 said...

To answer the third question, i believe that love and respect are to equal things a relationship needs in order to be functional. You should only form a close relationship with someone that you both love and respect, because just having one or the other could cause potential problems in a relationship.

Sydney C.13-14 said...

3. Though I feel love is necessary for serious marriage bound relationships, I feel that respect is the building block for all functional relationships significant or otherwise. I feel the point of relationships is in order to see if you can find love with the person you are seeing, not every relationship ending in true love. Without respecting your significant other, you can not value their true identity and the ideas that they represent. The only loving relationship I could imagine that is not built around respect is a purely physical superficial relationship.Therefore, though without love a relationship can not lead into something deeper, I believe respect is over all more important.

Kelsey M. 11/12 said...

3) I think that love and respect are both equally important in a relationship. Obviously, if you don't love someone, you shouldn't be in a relationship with them. But if you love someone, you should be able to trust them and respect them enough to not question the things they tell you. A lot of times throughout history, men have been known to be the leader of the household. But over the years, men and women have become more equal because they deserve the same respect as men and should not be treated as inferiors.

Betsy C 1314 said...

I would probably end a loveless marriage if I were totally miserable. If I could suck it up and stay with the person, I would try, but I'm sure that a child raised in a home with constant fighting would rather have happy and separate parents.

Vanessa D. 13-14 said...

1. I would probably split with my spouse because I have to give something 110% or it just doesn't work for me. If I were married to someone and I didn't love them I couldn't stay, I would have to get out right away because it would almost be like lying to the children and lying to myself. I would still allow my children to have a relationship with their father (assuming he was not abusive or anything) and show them that although I may not love their father, I love them.

Ashley A. 11-12 said...

I think love and respect are equally important in a relationship. You could love someone more than anything else in the world, but if you don't respect them, you can't be equals in the relationship, which would ultimately cause problems.

Joe K. 11-12 said...

I feel as though you would have to put up with the marriage for your kids' sake. You have to realize sometimes that as a parent you have to protect your kids and do what is best for them, especially when they cant better themselves. I mean this from a standpoint that you cant allow your kids lives to be horrible and to scar them when matters are out of their hands.

Mike B 13-14 said...

Parents should try to do whats best for their kids and if this means staying in a loveless marriage this is what they should do. It might be hard on the parents but if it woould benefit the kids it is worth doing. If the kids were able to handle the seperation it would be ok because it would be horrible to scar the chlidren for life.

Eric Y 13-14 said...

I agree with most of you who say to put your kids first. They are one's responsibilities and should not be thrown away.

Eric Y 13-14 said...

For question three, I did not like how some answered as saying both are most important because I asked which is more important. I agree that respect is more important.