Tag Archives: grief

Death: Neither End or Beginning

“I can remember how when I was young I believed death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind- and that of the minds of the ones who suffer the bereavement. The nihilists say it is the end; the fundamentalists, the beginning; when in reality it is no more than a single tenant or family moving out of a tenement or a town.”

Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. New York: The Modern Library, 2000. Print.

Peabody stated this before Addie’s death. Peabody being an experienced medical doctor has come to conceptualize death in a highly non sympathetic fashion, calling it a “tenant or family moving out of a tenement or a town.” Peabody views death as more of a transitional period for those close to the deceased, rather than placing it along with a feeling of finality or beginning. By doing this he is making death out to be a more social process than an emotionalized one.

Faulkner and “saying without words”

“And so it was because I could not help it.┬áIt was then, and then I saw Darl and he knew. He said he knew without the words like he told me that ma is going to die without words, and I knew he knew because if he had said he knew with the words I would not have believed that he had been there and saw us. But he said he did know and I said “Are you going to tell pa are you going to kill him?” without the words I said it and he said “Why?” without the words. And that’s why I can talk to him with knowing with hating because he knows.”

Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text. First Vintage International Edition. New York: Vintage Books, 1990. Print. 27.

How much of this paragraph was actually spoken out loud?