William Faulkner's novel, As I Lay Dying is the story of one family's experiences of the death of their mother and wife, Addie Bundren, and the experiences the family members go through in an attempt to fulfill what they think is a simple wish she had for her funeral arrangements. Addie Bundren's dying wish is to return to her homeland of Jefferson, where she grew up to be buried with "her people" as William Faulkner says in the opening of As I Lay Dying.
Faulkner's novel is set over a six day period in the state of Mississippi that starts in the mythical county of Yoknapatawpha County. The Yoknapatawpha County referred to in William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying is "closely modeled on Lafayette County, Mississippi and both the real and fictional counties are roughly bounded on the northeast by the Tallahatchie River; in the fictional county the Yocana River to the south is named the Yoknapatawpha" Tuck, 1.
Tuck refers to this land that to as "William Faulkner's mythical kingdom is situated in northern Mississippi" and is the setting for several of his novels including As I Lay Dying Tuck, 1. This land is also the land that William Faulkner calls home therefore his familiarity with the layout and the population helps Faulkner add a great amount of detail to his novels that adds color and imagery to his novels that helps the reader in imagining and setting the scene while adding to the plot of the story.
Volpe, This is because of the different styles of narration used by the many different narrators in As I Lay Dying. Matter of fact there are fifteen different narrators in the novel As I Lay Dying help tell the story. However, before analyzing his traits and behavior, it is necessary to say a couple of words about the content of the novel. The story takes place in the little county called Yoknapatawpha, where a very poor rural family is getting ready for the death of their mother, — Addie.
Being very ill, the women are expected to die in the nearest future, and for this reason, her oldest son Cash is making a coffin for her, which happens right in front of her bedroom window. Their journey starts with some absurd events, as such when Vardaman, the youngest child in the family, trying to make holes in the coffin injures the face of his mother.
During the trip to Jefferson, all members of Bundren family seem to care very little about the death of Addie, because Anse is more concerned with the future purchase of false teeth, and the only daughter of Bundrens is trying to buy some medicine to abort her undesirable pregnancy. Only Darl Bundren seems to care about the real purpose of their journey — burial of his mother. Darl Bundren is the brightest character in the novel, whom the readers meet more often than others, as he narrates the story in nineteen sections of the novel.
However, the other members of the family seem rather comfortable with it. Darl is depicted to be not very communicative, but very sensitive and intelligent because he is the only one who knows about the pregnancy of his sister and the fact that his brother Jewel is illegitimate. When Dewey Dell realizes that Darl is aware of her secret pregnancy, she is the first one to deliver up her brother to the people from the asylum after the arson.
Darl Bundren is disturbed by the death of his mother more than other members of the family.