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'As I Lay Dying' Quotes

William Faulkner's Famous Classic

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Study Guide As I Lay Dying is the fictional chronicle of Addie Bundren's death. The family undertakes a journey to bury her body. The novel is narrated with the shifting viewpoints of 15 characters--made all the more vivid with Faulkner's use of the vernacular and stream-of-consciousness style. Here are a few quotes from As I Lay Dying.
  • "Riches is nothing in the face of the Lord, for He can see into the heart."
    - William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

  • "The quilt is drawn up to her chin, hot as it is, with only her two hands and her face outside. She is propped on the pillow, with her head raised so she can see out the window, and we can hear him every time he takes up the adze or the saw. If we were deaf we could almost watch her face and hear him, see him. Her face is wasted away so that the bones draw just under the skin in white lines. Her eyes are like two candles when you watch them gutter down into the sockets of iron candlesticks. But the eternal and the everlasting salvation and grace is not upon her."
    - William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

  • "I know her. Wagon or no wagon, she wouldn't wait. Then she'd be upset, and I wouldn't upset her for the living world. With that family burying-ground in Jefferson and them of her blood waiting for her there, she'll be impatient. I promised my word me and the boys would get her there quick as mules could walk it, so she could rest quiet."
    - William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

  • "I have heard men cuss their luck, and right, for they were sinful men. But I do not say it's a curse on me, because I have done no wrong to be cussed by. I am not religious, I reckon. But peace is my heart: I know it is. I have done things but neither better nor worse than them that pretend otherlike, and I know that Old Marster will care for me as for ere a sparrow that falls. But is seems hard that a man in his need could be so flouted by a road."
    - William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

  • "I knew that nobody but a luckless man could ever need a doctor in the face of a cyclone."
    - William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

  • "It's because I'm alone. If I could just feel it, it would be different, because I would not be alone. But if I were not alone, everybody would know it. And he could do so much for me, and then I would not be alone. Then I could be all right alone."
    - William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

  • "I reckon if there's ere a man or woman anywhere that He could turn it all over to and go away with His mind at rest, it would be Cora. And I reckon she would make a few changes, no matter how He was running it. And I reckon they would be for man's good. Leastways, we would have to like them. Leastways, we might as well go on and make like we did."
    - William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

  • "The wagon moves; the mules' ears begin to bob. Behind us, above the house, motionless in tall and soaring circles, they diminish and disappear."
    - William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

  • "We go on, with a motion so soporific, so dreamlike as to be uninferant of progress, as though time and not space were decreasing between us and it."
    - William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

  • "I heard that my mother is dead. I wish I had time to let her die. I wish I had time to wish I had. It is because the wild and outraged earth too soon too soon too soon."
    - William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

  • "She cried hard, maybe because she had to cry so quiet; maybe because she felt the same way about tears she did about deceit, hating herself for doing it, hating him because she had to. And then I knew that I knew. I knew that as plain on that day as I knew about Dewey Dell on that day."
    - William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

  • "It is as though the space between us were time: an irrevocable quality. It is as though time, no longer running straight before us in a diminishing line, now runs parallel between us like a looping string, the distance being the doubling accretion of the thread an not the interval between."
    - William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

  • "Because it is not us that can judge our sins or know what is sin in the Lord's eyes. She has had a hard life, but so does every woman. But you'd think from the way she talked that she knew more about sin and salvation than the Lord God Himself, than them who have strove and labored with the sin in this human world."
    - William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

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