Theme Descriptions of As I Lay Dying.
William Faulkner portrays all of his themes in the actual human drama of the South, where William Faulkner grew up. Since the death of Addie Bundren, her family is affected in a way that allows them to question and analyze who they really are. In As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner explores the impermanence of existence and identity. ("SparkNotes").
Faulkner's master-theme is the inescapable need for man to find communal ties, which the individual's selfhood depends upon. The Faulkner hero must move from his original solitude if he is to complete himself. He also must accept his involvement of risks in correspondence with his fellows. Only when this is done can he feel himself to be part of "a human family, of the human family." Faulkner's metaphor points to a state of communal wholeness, as within a coherent and loving family, the individual's identity would be defined, recognized, and sustained. (Book Tower, p. 153) The story is read by ways of the internal speeches of several characters in and out of the family. This underlines one of the main themes, the inadequacy of language to demonstrate experience. (Magill Book Review).
One of the most important main characters in the novel was Addie, who is the mother and central character in As I Lay Dying. She's portrayed as Carl Jung's psychological analysis of Self. This is related to the God image in man, the central fire in our psyche where the God similarity shows itself in the most plain form. This is true in the fact that Addie lends order and design throughout the entire story, and then after death, the family unites in their efforts for her burial. In this same case, she draws the other members to a circular plan of mutual action. When Addie finally dies in her bed, after her life of pride, "Her eyes are like two candles when you watch them gutter down into the sockets of iron candlesticks." At that moment when Addie dies, she has finally achieved the wholistic aspect of Self.