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I have selected hatred, greed, and delusion as my themes for As I Lay Dying. What...

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salam74 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted October 4, 2012 at 2:58 AM via web

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I have selected hatred, greed, and delusion as my themes for As I Lay Dying. What quotes could I use?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 4, 2012 at 5:24 AM (Answer #1)

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You have selected a good list of themes. What you need to do now of course is go through the book and pick out quotes that you can use to support your exploration of those themes. What examples can you think of of hatred in the novel, for example? Where can we see hatred? What quotes support that theme? For delusion, you might want to consider the madness of Darl. Let us remember that he is committed to a mental asylum after burning Gillespie's barn in order to try and cremate Addie's corpse. Note what Cash says about this act, and what important information it gives us about delusion and sanity:

Sometimes I think it aint none of us pure crazy and aint none of us pure sane until the balance of us talks him that-a-way. It’s like it aint so much what a fellow does, but it’s the way the majority of folks is looking at him when he does it.

Cash points out the subject nature of madness and delusion in this quote when he argues that it is not "what a fellow does" that determines whether he is deluded, but it is the opinion of the majority of the people who have to judge that person that counts. This quote would be a very important one to use in your essay to explore delusion. Try and find similar quotes and incidents from the novel to support your other two themes. Good luck!

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