As I Lay Dying Monologue Analysis

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There is almost nothing to love about Anse Burden. He is probably the character in As I Lay Dying that would garner the most loathing from any reader. Even Addie Bundren would explicitly state that Anse was “dead” to her. In her only monologue in the novel, she describes him as “liquefying into a vessel like cold molasses flowing out of the darkness, until the jar stood full and motionless: a significant shape profoundly without life like an empty door frame (p.116).” This imagery that Addie gives to Anse goes back to her claim that words are just “shapes to fill a lack (p.116).” In this sense, Anse is an empty figure, full of words but lacking in action. It is in this very sense too that Anse would harvest the impression that he is a leech. This is clearly seen in the way he authoritatively takes Cash’s and Dewy Dell’s money, and Jewel’s beloved horse, demanding sacrifice even though he himself has not risked anything. Plus he always has these conventional biblical sounding statements like…show more content…
He ventured out of his comfort zone of beliefs that roads bring misfortune and that man was made for staying to, in order to keep his word-- the very same word that Addie criticized as empty. This no way implies that Anse would be forgiven for exploiting his children in making them do most of the work. We could see though that no matter how useless Anse’s actions in the struggles of “fire and water” in the Bundren’s journey, he still serves an important purpose that is easily misjudged. Samson perfectly captures Anse’s worth in his monologue: “"I notice how it takes a lazy man, a man that hates moving, to get set on moving once he does get started off, the same as when he was set on staying still, like it ain't the moving he hates so much as the starting and the stopping
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