Just 57 pages into As I Lay Dying and it is clear that this book is not “beach reading.” Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying, his 5th novel, in 1930. He set out to write his “tour de force” – first composing the entire novel in his head and then putting words to paper in just 6 weeks. This novel is written from the point of view of 15 different characters over the course of 59 chapters or monologues. It is immediately clear that each character has a personality, point of view, and way of communicating all their own. As with many of Faulkner’s novels, As I Lay Dying is set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi and each character’s voice reflects this setting and era.
Though the novel is short, each passage provides essential (but easily missed) details and clues. Nicole has peppered our lessons with the lore of this novel and guided our conversations to help me and my classmates discover many of these missed clues.
Homework assignment (due Tuesday) – Read and annotate: Pages 58-93.
Vocab: impalpable (pg 76, adjective); vindication (pg 77, noun); impervious (pg 77, adjective)