7Narrative Voice What do we expect from a narrator? What do we keep in mind when we have a first person perspective?Consider while reading: How does this novel compare with the narrative perspective of other novels read this year?Terms to KNOW as you evaluate this text:Realism: objective or even scientific narrative viewModernism: personal and subjective point of view.
8Perspectives“Faulkner often told his stories using multiple narratives, each with their own interests and biases, who allow us to piece together the 'true' circumstances of the story, not as clues in a mystery, but as different melodies in a piece of music that form a crescendo. The conclusion presents a key to understanding the broad panorama surrounding the central event in a way that traditional linear narratives simply are unable to accomplish.” - Evan Goodwin.Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, like history, will be made up of sometimes competing or confusing bits of knowledge, based on the often competing perspective of the viewer.Discuss: what are the strengths and weaknesses of learning about something or someone through multiple perspectives?
9Reading JournalAs you read, you may choose to maintain a journal on As I Lay Dying. Write down thoughts, questions, and ideas about the novel. Notice repetition, contradiction, and objects that hint at a deeper symbolic meaning. Be sure to include page numbers to relevant passages in the text. This time, the journal is optional.There will be several required reflections due.
10As you read, consider these points: What does this character reveal about himself?What do we learn about the characters that they did not intentionally reveal?What do we know about him from others?What is his role in the novel?What major symbols are associated with this character, and what might they mean?What do we learn about the setting and culture through the characters' voices?
11What is the American South? “You're in the American South now, a proud region with a distinctive history and culture. A place that echoes with names like Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee, Scarlett O'Hara and Uncle Remus, Martin Luther King and William Faulkner, Billy Graham, Mahalia Jackson, Muhammad Ali, Elvis Presley. Home of the country blues and country music, bluegrass and Dixieland jazz, gospel music and rock and roll. Where menus offer both down-home biscuits and gravy and uptown shrimp and grits. Where churches preach against "cigarettes, whiskey, and wild, wild women" (all Southern products) and where American football is a religion.”- From John Shelton Reed's My Tears Spoiled My Aim