As I Lay Dying Discussion Questions

Instructor: Anthony Cognata
Here are a variety of questions that can help students comprehend and conceptualize the text of 'As I Lay Dying.' Questions cover the entire novel and can be used in an in-class to further discussion or through homework.

Questions about the Plot

  • The plot begins at the family farm and then follows the journey to Jefferson - a journey that should take only a day and a half, but instead lasts for 9 days. What is the purpose of this exaggerated travel time?
  • Several times over the course of the book, the Bundren family almost loses Addie's coffin. What significance does this play in the overall plot?
  • There are a number of instances that can be interpreted as the climax of the novel. What do you think is the climax? Why do you think this is the climax? What other instances might be interpreted as the climax? Why are these instances not the climax? What resolution comes afterwards?
  • The novel ends with narration by Cash - is this or is this not significant? Explain.

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