In As I Lay Dying, the Bundren children set off on a journey to fulfill their mother, Addie's, dying wish, only to be stymied by an almost biblical series of events. At once absurd and profound, it is the story of a family's single-minded commitment to honor their mother and surmount obstacles in their way while wrestling with personal desires and crises of their own.
As I Lay Dying has a clearly delineated plot line. However, the way the story is presented was in Faulkner's day an experimental narrative technique. Removing himself completely as an author-narrator figure, Faulkner breaks his story into 59 separate monologues, each spoken or thought by one of 15 characters. There is no description of a character or action outside of the way the characters see themselves, one another and the events in which they are involved.
At the heart of the novel beats a family's response to the loss of the most important person in their lives. They laugh, they curse, they fight, they bleed, they break, they love, they endure—just like we do.
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