As I continue to read As I Lay Dying, my opinion on the novel begins to change. Originally, As I Lay Dying seemed to have a more melancholy tone. However, the number of ridiculous events that the Bundrens face each chapter leads me to believe that this book is more a comedic act. During the few moments that I actually understand what is going on in the novel, I will often visually contrive an image of a group of degenerate hillbillies comically dancing around as they try to avoid losing Addie’s coffin. Each event is similar to an episode of a Gilligan’s Island where at the end of every chapter an announce pops out and says, “What crazy situation will the Bundren family find themselves in this time!” Basically, it’s gotten pretty tough to take this novel seriously anymore. I mean I do understand Faulkner’s sheer mastery in placing hidden meanings, metaphors, messages throughout the novel, but it’s come to the point where the novel is kind of a joke. Honestly, it’s really hard to relate to almost any of the characters. Addie is emo and unfaithful, Anse is just plain strange, Darrel is also somewhat strange, Dewey Dell is just really dumb, but you get the picture.
Moving onto a more interesting novel, I found the ending of The Great Gatsby to be overall depressing to the point where I kind of wished Fitzgerald would have ended his novel after Gatsby’s death, because everything after that is just how depressing everyone’s lives have gotten since Gatsby’s death. I also disliked how Tom wasn’t punished at all. Myrtle died, Gatsby died, George Wilson died, and Daisy lost her friend and potential lover. Tom was the only dishonest and unfaithful character that was not punished. In fact, Tom probably wanted Gatsby dead. That way, there was no longer an uncertainty over whether or not Daisy is seeing Gatsby. So in actuality, Tom was kind of rewarded for having an affair, lying to George Wilson, and just being an all around arrogant prick. Perhaps Fitzgerald is suggesting that the majority of people are punished for their bad deeds, but sometimes there is no justice in the world. And clearly, there really is no justice in the world.
And isn’t it interesting that Daisy killed Tom’s lover, and Tom killed Daisy’s lover thus strengthening their relationship? To clarify, Daisy ran over Myrtle, Tom’s partner in affair, and Tom told George Wilson that Gatsby, Daisy’s partner in almost affair, was the murderer thus killed Gatsby. Perhaps Fitzgerald believes that these dishonest supercilious people are the only ones made for each other. When comparing Gatsby and Myrtle to Tom and Daisy, the fact remains that Tom and Daisy are way more superficial and arrogant. I also like how Fitzgerald created a mediator for this love octagon. Of course, I am referring to Nick. Despite the fact that Nick admires Gatsby, Nick does take action or take anyone’s side. Instead, Nick, for the most part, objectively retells the events.