As I Lay Dying (Novel)

The reason for living was to get ready to stay dead a long time.

Addie Bundren shares this bit of wisdom from her father in an effort to explain her life and the choices she’s made.  At this point in the story, Addie has actually been dead several days.  Before Faulkner has Addie speak from beyond the grave, Addie has only been featured in several early scenes, where she is lying sick in bed, waiting to die.  Before her death, Addie was closely watching her eldest son while he built her coffin.  She ultimately dies before it is completed, but a promise she extracted from her Anse, her husband, drives the narrative.

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