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As I Lay Dying


As I Lay Dying: An Analysis

Author: Ruiyang Wang
Institution: Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing, China


This paper delves into William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, exploring its thematic depth and the multifaceted meanings of its title. Faulkner's portrayal of lower-class individuals, their qualities, and struggles forms the core of the novel's narrative, offering insights into the author's intentions and societal reflections.

Key Points

  • Title Significance: The analysis begins by questioning the title's deeper meaning, its relevance to Faulkner himself, and the messages intended to be conveyed to the reader.
  • Methodology: The paper promises an exploration from four distinct perspectives: superficial, familial, societal, and literary levels, each shedding light on different facets of the narrative.
  • Character Analysis: Though starting with Addie's death, the narrative explores complex family dynamics and societal interactions, reflecting broader themes of existence and identity.


The document aims to unpack the layered meanings of As I Lay Dying, through a detailed examination of its characters, themes, and Faulkner's literary strategies. It seeks to provide a comprehensive understanding of the novel's place in American literature and its reflection on human conditions.