As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner Online Book Summary
If we consider Darl to be the protagonist, then there are a number of antagonists. Addie is the one whose body Darl tries to dispose of. Darl’s attempt to burn her body is what leads to his arrest. Dewey Dell is the one who turns him in, but that is the only action she takes against him. Towards the end of the novel, Jewel becomes Darl’s nemesis. Anse also could be argued as Darl’s antagonist since he initiates and continues the trip to Jefferson.
If Addie is the protagonist, then Anse would be the antagonist. Since Anse uses Addie’s death for his own gain, he would be the best candidate for antagonist.
If Anse if the protagonist, then Darl is the antagonist. Darl is the one who actively seeks to end the trip to Jefferson; if Darl succeeds, Anse cannot get new teeth or a new wife.
Darl’s burning of the barn functions as the climax. This action leads to Darl’s arrest and leads to the end of the trip. Although Addie’s burial might seem like the climax, it is more or an anti-climax; Faulkner barely even mentions the event. Addie’s burial is only a climax for Anse; her burial allows for Anse to get his teeth and a new wife.
Darl is arrested. Dewey Dell is still pregnant. Addie is buried. Cash is lame. Jewel is
The plot of As I Lay Dying is deceptively simple. The mother, Addie, is dying, and wants to make sure that her dying request is granted, namely that she be buried with her family in Jefferson. She also wants to make sure that the coffin is made well, so she has Cash build it right outside her bedroom window. Once she dies, the family proceeds to take her body to Jefferson. Jewel rescues the coffin after it is nearly lost in the river; Cash breaks his leg during this episode. Darl tries to burn the coffin later on and Jewel rescues it again. They finally reach Jefferson and Addie is buried. Dewey Dell turns Darl in and he is sent to prison. Dewey Dell is tricked into having sex with MacGowan in exchange for an abortion drug, but he gives her a placebo. Anse buys new teeth and finds a wife.
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TheBestNotes Staff. "TheBestNotes on As I Lay Dying".
. 09 May 2017