As I Lay Dying


William Faulkner

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As I Lay Dying: 19. Vardaman Summary & Analysis

Vardaman states: "My mother is a fish."
In what is perhaps the novel's most famous sentence, Vardaman connects the idea of his dead mother with the dead fish he caught for dinner. Vardaman's statement of course stems from the imagination of a six-year-old, but also represents a philosophical exploration of existence. To express himself, Vardaman links his mother and the fish, both dead, using a transitive property that permits him to think they are the same thing.
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