As I Lay Dying

The most important character that rarely there
In some novels the story is guided and guided by a single character that is rarely present. In William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying the character of Addie Bundren is one such that her voice and opinions while only presented for a brief time is able to direct the story and hold an influence among many of the main characters. Addie possesses the ability to affect many of the characters actions and development, as well as affect the main themes.
In As I Lay Dying Addie may be viewed as the central reason for almost every action preformed in the book. “It’s Addie I give the promise to… her mind is set on it.”(Faulkner115). Anse’s motive to take on the challenge of journeying to Jefferson is not because of his desire for false teeth, although that does play a part, the reason is Addies request to be buried with her kin. Addie even before her passing motivated characters to take action based around her. An early example would be Cash’s dedication towards constructing Addie’s coffin. In pages 82-83 Cash compiles a list of reasons why his choice to build on the bevel was right. This would seem odd except it reveals a degree of care as to where Addie’s final resting place would be. Addies whether present or not she has a direct influence over the actions of many of the characters.
Addie Bundren not only has the ability to affect the character action but more importantly she affects how they may develop. A primary example would be Vardaman’s claim “My mother is a turtle”(Faulkner84). The loss of Addie to the young Vardaman causes him to try to comprehend the death of Addie but since nobody really sits down with Vardaman he takes note of how it’s said Jewels mom is a horse and decides that to him that his mother is fish. Addie had a more active role in affecting the development of Jewel. Jewel, not knowing that Anse is not really his real father, from a young age notices that Addie treats him differently than…

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