As I Lay Dying

As I Lay Dying is a novel by William Faulkner, published in 1930. It is a story of the Bundren family, who are living in the rural south during the early twentieth century. The novel follows the family as they travel to Jefferson, Mississippi, to bury their matriarch, Addie Bundren. Along the way, the family faces numerous obstacles, including floods, a fire, and the death of one of their own.

The novel is narrated by fifteen different characters, each of whom has a unique perspective on the events of the novel. The main characters are Anse Bundren, the father of the family; Cash, the eldest son; Darl, the second son; Jewel, the third son; Dewey Dell, the only daughter; and Vardaman, the youngest son. The novel begins with the death of Addie Bundren, and the family's decision to take her body to Jefferson to be buried.

The family sets out on their journey, but they are soon beset by a series of disasters. First, a flood washes away their wagon and most of their possessions. Then, a fire destroys the barn where they were staying. Finally, Darl, the second son, is taken away by the authorities after he is accused of setting the fire. Despite these setbacks, the family continues on their journey, determined to fulfill Addie's last wish.

Along the way, the family encounters a variety of characters, including a preacher, a doctor, and a group of men who are searching for a missing girl. Through these encounters, the reader is able to gain insight into the lives of the Bundrens and the people they meet.

The novel culminates in the burial of Addie Bundren in Jefferson. After the burial, the family returns home, but their journey has changed them in ways they could never have imagined. The novel ends with Anse Bundren, the father, remarrying and the family beginning a new life.

As I Lay Dying is a powerful and moving novel that explores the themes of family, death, and the power of the human spirit. Through its vivid characters and its vivid descriptions of the rural south, the novel paints a vivid portrait of a family struggling to survive in a harsh and unforgiving world.