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Addies Revenge

In William Faulkner's novel "As I lay Dying" the reader learns about each character through the eyes of that person so to speak. Most of the important characters minds are revealed through the unique personalities and idiosyncrasies of the Bundren family, and those they encountered. One of the characters is Addie Bundren, the matriarch of the clan, and the person who's death this story moves upon. Although Addie is dead for most of the book, Faulkner still shows Addie's feelings and attitude in a chapter in which she seemingly speaks from the dead. From this scene we learn about Addie's personality. As a whole Addie is a pessimistic and unfulfilled woman, who marries the ignorant Anse Bundren on a whim. Addie also admits for caring for only two of her children, the rest she labels "Anse's children", who are born out of an obligation. This obligation to Anse spawned from the fact that she had a son borne out of an affair with the priest Whitfield to bear her second child Jewel. As stated before Addie is a bitter woman and believes Anse is to blame for many of her shortcomings. These shortcomings started namely with her unwanted birth to her second child Darl. Because of Addie's bitter anger toward Anse, she curses Anse with her revenge, after death. Her revenge involved telling Anse to take her body back to her hometown of Jefferson, which is a very long trip to make with a rotting dead body. Addie realizes that this will be an undignified, dangerous, and tedious consuming trip. Since Addie will be dead and gone her instinctive safeguard in this plan is "her" son Jewel who she prophesied would save her from the "fire and the water" and make sure she got to Jefferson. With Addie's plan in motion and her safeguard in place, I believe Addie still could not punish the infantile but slick Anse Bundren despite Jewel's instinctive effort, because of Anse's hidden intelligence and improvisational skills. Anse B...

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