Banned Books: As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner


It would be a few days journey in the wagon to take Addie Bundren to Jefferson from Yoknapatawapha County once she passes away. The family has been preparing for the journey since she fell ill. Days have passed, death is imminent and you can hear the coffin being built. Anse, her husband, has promised to take her back to her home town. All of her children, most of whom are grown, are ready to take the journey with their father. But when she passes away and the rain begins to fall, the journey becomes more dangerous and tiresome than they expected. Tempers flare, emotions are spent, words are exchanged and what was supposed to be a going home trip becomes much more.
As I Lay Dying is a captivating novel that examines a family’s emotional mindset after the death of their matriarch. The narrators changed throughout the novel, allowing everyone’s point of view to be seen, including some of the townsmen they come across throughout the journey. There was a wide range of understanding and stages of grief explored. There was also a wide range of motivations regarding the trip which weren’t all noble. The trip was revealing in many ways for the family and readers were able to watch everything slowly unfold.

Faulkner created an in depth novel that took the opinions and emotions of a large variety of characters and made it cohesive. The use of characters outside of the family was an ingenious way to gain understanding about the Bundren’s actions and was more often than not a comedic interlude. After adjusting to the unique narrative I enjoyed the novel. Obviously since the book has been banned many times there are others who didn’t enjoy it very much. The American Library Association states that the novel has been banned for referencing abortion, masturbation and for questioning God. In my personal opinion, all of the subject matters were handled tastefully. The aforementioned actions held weight on the characters that were affected and added to the somber reality that is the novel.  It isn’t easy dealing with death but life goes on. As I Lay Dying is a great example of life moving forward. The Bundren family experienced a tragic loss but that didn’t stop pregnancy, gossip, and betrayal. By exposing the truth about how families continue to live after death, he exposed a harsh reality that many, I guess, simply can’t face.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/classics/reasons    Retrieved 03/07/2014 

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