An exploration of Cora Tull's religious beliefs and moral convictions in "As I Lay Dying"

Categories: Cora Tull

In William Faulkner's novel "As I Lay Dying," Cora Tull's religious beliefs and moral convictions play a significant role in shaping her character and influencing her actions throughout the story. Cora is a devoutly religious woman who holds strong religious and moral values, and her beliefs serve as a lens through which she interprets the events of the novel and justifies her own actions.

Cora Tull is portrayed as a fervent Christian who deeply adheres to her religious convictions. Her faith is a central aspect of her identity, and she often uses religious rhetoric and references to scripture in her conversations.

Cora believes in the righteousness of her actions, often attributing her decisions to God's will. This unwavering faith informs her perception of the world and the events around her.

Cora's religious beliefs are closely intertwined with her moral convictions, which she uses to guide her behavior and judgment of others. She views herself as a moral authority and often criticizes others who do not conform to her standards of behavior.

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This moral rigidity is particularly evident in her harsh judgment of Addie Bundren and her perceived sinful actions. Cora's condemnation of Addie reflects her belief in a strict moral code and her need to uphold her sense of righteousness.

Cora's religious fervor is not without its flaws, however. Her strong sense of piety sometimes blinds her to the complexities of human nature and the nuances of others' motivations. This is evident in her inability to fully understand or empathize with the Bundren family's struggles and motivations.

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Cora's rigid interpretation of her faith prevents her from seeing beyond her own perspective, leading to a lack of empathy and a tendency to judge others harshly.

Cora's religious convictions also contribute to her desire for control and influence within her community. She takes on the role of a spiritual leader, interpreting religious doctrine for those around her and attempting to guide their actions according to her beliefs. This desire for control is seen in her interactions with others, particularly her husband Vernon Tull and her daughter Kate. Cora's attempts to shape their behavior reflect her need to maintain a sense of authority and uphold her moral principles.

It's important to note that Cora's character is not portrayed as one-dimensional; her beliefs are part of a larger tapestry of human complexity. Her genuine concern for her family, her dedication to her faith, and her attempts to uphold her moral convictions create a layered portrayal of a character struggling to reconcile her beliefs with the realities of life.

In conclusion, Cora Tull's religious beliefs and moral convictions in "As I Lay Dying" serve as a defining aspect of her character. Her devout faith informs her perception of the world, influences her interactions with others, and shapes her sense of righteousness. While her convictions provide her with a strong moral framework, they also contribute to her rigid judgment of others and her inability to fully understand the complexities of human behavior. Cora's character serves as a reflection of the ways in which deeply held beliefs can both guide and limit an individual's understanding of the world around them.

Updated: Aug 25, 2023
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An exploration of Cora Tull's religious beliefs and moral convictions in "As I Lay Dying". (2023, Aug 25). Retrieved from

An exploration of Cora Tull's religious beliefs and moral convictions in "As I Lay Dying" essay
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