a lump

“Maybe it will reveal her blindness to her, laying there are the mercy and the ministration of four men and a tom-boy girl. ‘There’s not a woman in this section could ever bake with Addie Bundren,’ I say. ‘First thing we know she’ll be up and baking again, and then we won’t have any sale for ours at all.’ Under the quilt she makes no more of a hump than a rail would, and the only way you can tell she is breathing is by the sound of the mattress shucks. Even the hair at her cheek does not move, even with that fanning her with the fan… ‘She’s just watching Cash yonder,’ the girl says. we can hear the saw in the board. It sounds like snoring.”

Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. Vintage Books, 1900. p. 12

Cora’s observation of present Addie juxtaposed with her musings about past Addie contribute to the dehumanization and objectification of Addie as a whole. This, combined with Addie being constantly subjected to watching her own son create her coffin as if it were a chore, emphasizes Addie’s loss of humanity in the eyes of those around her, and with this the dignity of being seen as a human being.