Bridge over Yoknapatawpha River (Location Key)


The bridge that Faulkner identifies on his 1936 map of Yoknapatawpha as the "Bridge over Yoknapatawpha River Anse couldn’t cross" appears in As I Lay Dying. Reached by a lane that goes past Tull's house and barn, the bridge was built in 1888. In the novel it is largely submerged in the flooded river: "mid-sunk," with "logs and such drifting up over it and it swagging and shivering like the whole thing would go any minute" (124). Half of the Bundrens cross it on foot, while the other half try to carry Addy's corpse over the river in a wagon on the ford that people used to cross the river before 1888. As a setting these crossings are both realistically described - Cash, for example, mentions "them two big whiteoaks" people used to use line up the path of the ford (142) - and symbolically resonant: Darl, for example, describes the moving water as "silent, impermanent and profoundly significant" (141), and the big log that knocks the wagon off the ford stands up out of the water "upright upon that surging and heaving desolation like Christ" (148).

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Bridge over Yoknapatawpha River
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Bridge over Yoknapatawpha River