Sample Essay Outlines
The following paper topics are designed to test your understanding of the novel as a whole and to analyze important themes and literary devices. Following each question is a sample outline to get you started.
Nature plays as vital a part in many stories and poems as the characters do. As I Lay Dying relies a great deal on Nature and her forces to move the story line along. What universal natural symbols does Faulkner rely on and how does he incorporate them into the action of the novel?
I. Thesis Statement: The forces of Nature and the natural world compete against man in Faulkner’s novel, As I Lay Dying.
II. The Bundren homestead
A. House built on a very steep hill
B. Gravity and angles make house seem warped or mysterious
C. Anse’s view of the road in front of the Bundren house
III. The rainstorm
A. Keeps people away from the house
B. Makes travel from or to the Bundren house difficult
C. Accompanies or announces Addie’s death
D. Causes bridges to be washed out
IV. The flooding river
A. Impedes crossing and slows the family down
B. Drenches Addie’s corpse
C. Drowns mules
D. Causes Cash to break his leg and get kicked by the horse.
V. Hot weather
A. Adds to discomfort and short tempers
B. Causes decomposing body to decay and...
(The entire section is 2505 words.)
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