Feminist Perspective of Addie Bundren of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying
Addie Bundren of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying has often been characterized as an unnatural, loveless, cold mother whose demands drive her family on a miserable trek to bury her body in Jefferson. For a feminist understanding of Addie, we have to move outside the traditional patriarchal definitions of "womanhood" or "motherhood" that demand selflessness from others, blame mothers for all familial dysfunction, and only lead to negative readings of Addie. She also has been characterized as yet another Faulkner character who is unable to express herself using language. This modernist view of the inexpressiblility of the creative spirit does not apply to …show more content…
Addie's chapter in As I Lay Dying, the only chapter in which she is allowed to speak, is her attempt to come into, to explain, and to use a language that is foreign to her. While Addie is trapped within a larger social system that oppresses her in a number of ways (not only linguistically), this is mainly a chapter about patriarchal language and about the inability of that language to express her desire, her identity, and her very existence. Addie says:
And when I knew that I had Cash . .