Modernism has come to be identified with a few specific stylistic methods and a few over-arching themes. Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying exemplifies the hallmarks of modernism in both of these areas as the work utilizes a stream-of-consciousness style (informed by the popularity of psychoanalysis) and takes up themes of social fracture and an unraveling of a previously stable social fabric.
Style and theme, in As I Lay Dying, work together to reinforce a central conceit regarding social fracture and fragmentation.
This is a story about a single family, yet it is also the story of many minds. While each character in the Bundren family is responding to the same death, they each react differently. The style of the novel makes the psychological differences between the characters exceptionally clear.
Faulkner chooses to take on the mental voice of each character, depicting the internal life of Vardaman as being in stark contrast to that of Cash, which is in turn in stark contrast to Darl or Dewey...
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