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'As I Lay Dying' Questions for Study and Discussion

William Faulkner's Famous Novel

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Study Guide As I Lay Dying is a famous novel by William Faulkner. Here are a few questions for study and discussion.
  • What is important about the title? Is there a reference in the novel that explains the title?

  • What are the conflicts in As I Lay Dying? What types of conflict (physical, moral, intellectual, or emotional)?

  • How does William Faulkner reveal character in As I Lay Dying?

  • What are some themes in the story? How do they relate to the plot and characters?

  • What are some symbols in As I Lay Dying? How do they relate to the plot and characters?

  • What's unique about Faulkner's writing technique? Compare Faulkner's technique with that of Virginia Woolf.

  • Are the main characters consistent in his actions? Are they fully developed characters? Do you find the characters likable? Are the characters persons you would want to meet? Are the multiple narrators confusing (or effective)?

  • What is the central/primary purpose of the novel? Is the purpose important or meaningful?

  • How essential is the setting? Could the story have taken place anywhere else? Does it make a difference that the novel is set in a fictional county?

  • What is the role of family and community in this novel?

  • Does the story end the way you expected? How? Why?

  • Faulkner described the book as a "tour de force." Do you agree? Would you recommend this novel to a friend?

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