In my American Literature class we are reading William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying.” Wow. That is mostly what I have to say about that book. Intelligent review right?
One of the chapters in this book (which, by the way, is told from 15 different viewpoints…brilliant) is told from the perspective of a dead woman. In it she says, “words are no good; words don’t ever fit what they are trying to say at.” She then goes on to say that motherhood, fear, sin, and love were all words created by people who had never experienced those things because if they had, they wouldn’t have made a word for it, knowing those emotions couldn’t be contained by merely one word. In class we were talking about what it meant to be alive and dead (soul, not body) and how the narrator of this section of the book was saying words eventually lead to death and actions lead to life. We drew this diagram from a quote in the book:
Words are on one plane while actions are on another and you can’t straddle both lines.
In other words once emotions become merely words, they are dead. We used the example of love. It takes action to give meaning to words. The same with sin or goodness. What are they more than words?
That really makes me think. My poor brain is being wrapped up in knots and then thrown back at me and I’m not really sure what to do with it…