It is possible to say that "As I lay Dying" is comic and tragic novel at the same time, because of the family's life casualties caused by self-conceit.
One of the major themes of the book is the theme of poverty, personal relationships and human values. The multiple narrators help readers to understand inner world of the family members, their attitude towards each other. The specific structure of the story helps to distinguish how differently people interpret events and facts occurred in their life. The action wakes the characters up from their monotonous life, and force them unveil their real human nature and desires.
The main difference can be found in the interpretation of death and the purpose (secret wish) to travel to Jefferson. All of the family members have something in mind except funeral of their mother. For instance, Anse wants to buy a new set of teeth and marry. Cash wants to have "graphophone" (a phonograph), Vardaman hopes to buy a toy train, and Dewey Dell wants to see a doctor and have an abortion. These facts do not clearly defined by Faulkner, and readers gather them from narration of different characters.
The significance of multiple narrations is that readers have a possibility to compare self appraisal of the characters with family's perception of them and their values. ...