As I Lay Dying Topics for Further Study
by William Faulkner

As I Lay Dying book cover
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Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

Examine and discuss the possible meanings of Faulkner's title. How do you interpret it?

Research economic conditions for Southern farmers during the early decades of the twentieth century. How did these conditions impact class relations? Provide examples from Faulkner's novel.

Compare and contrast the lives of Southern farmers and unskilled laborers in the early twentieth century with the lives of farmers and laborers today. Offer statistical information from reference sources to illustrate how the situation has changed.

Explore the lives of women in Southern society at the time of Faulkner's novel. How have women's activities, opportunities, and expectations changed?

Research Sigmund Freud's theories on the Oedipal complex and relate what you've learned to Addie Bundren's relationships with her children, using examples from the novel.

Compare the journey of the Bundren family to famous journeys in myth, religion, or famous epics. What are the defining characteristics of these journeys?

Construct a contemporary version of the Bundrens' journey, factoring in modern social conditions. How are Faulkner's version and your version similar? In what ways do they differ, and what does that say about how society has changed?