Tag Archives: As I :Ay Dying. William Faulkner


“I can feel where the fish was in the dust. It is cut up into pieces of not-fish now, not-blood on my hands and overalls…If I jump off the porch I will be where the fish was, and it all cut up into not-fish now. I can hear the bed and her face and them and I can feel the floor shake when he walks on it that came and did it” (54).

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

Vardaman is equating the death of his mother with the “not-fish” idea of how his traumatic this idea of “not existing anymore” is.

Cora’s voice

“She lived, a lonely woman, lonely with her pride, trying to make folks believe different, hiding the fact that they just suffered her, because she was not cold in the coffin before they were carting her forty miles away to bury her, flouting the will of God to fo it.”

Faulkner, William. As I lay  dying. Modern Library Edition, 2012. p20

The narration of Cora is interesting as she sometimes  sounds so descriptive, like an omniscient narrator, giving us information on characters; this being due to the fact that she has one of the most intelligible discourse in the novel. Nonetheless we know her speech is not impartial as it bears the traces of her deep religiousness.

Faulkner: Dialect and “Voice”

“Now and then a fellow gets to thinking about it. Not often, though. Which is a good thing. For the Lord aimed for him to do and not to spent too much time thinking; because his brain it’s like a piece of machinery: it won’t stand a whole lot of racking. It’s best when it all runs along the same, doing the day’s work and not no one part used no more than needful.”

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

Faulkner’s characters often use similes; in the passage, the literary device serves not only as a comparison, but showcases Tull’s dialect, what with the lack of grammar in “because his brain it’s like a piece of machinery,” (a comma is needed here) and “not no one part used no more than needful” (rather than saying, “not using any more parts than necessary.”) Language is the foregroun to Tull’s perspective. It’s what gives him his particular “voice.”