As I Lay Dying Jewell Boundren Character Analysis

1294 Words6 Pages

Jewell Bundren, a character in William Faulkner’s novel As I lay Dying, is first portrayed as an outcast from the rest of the family until we later learn about his connection he has with Darl and his mother, Addie. Darl Bundren, one of Jewell’s brothers, who is also the main narrator of the story, comes into play as one of the central characters in the book who knows a lot about everything and everyone. In relation to Jewell, he somewhat appears as a typical older brother would, wise yet eager to urge violence from Jewell. Together, these two brothers create a sense of hatred for each other throughout their travels to bury their dead mother. Jewell’s connection to his mother is perceived as a missing part of Darl’s life and so he illustrates …show more content…

One example of this is when he started the barn on fire of the farm they were staying at for that current night. He started the fire in order to end their journey and to end Jewell’s excessive obsession with their mother, so he would no longer feel jealous of him. Darl didn’t have a care for burying Addie in Jefferson, where she wanted to be buried, but instead he’d rather have her rest easy and naturally. On top of that, throughout their journey, Darl’s neglect for Addie was being illustrated through Jewell and his extreme attachment to Addie’s body. For example, when the family tries to cross the river and they end up dropping Addie into the river, Vardaman is repeatedly yelling at Darl to catch Addie’s casket from floating downstream and eventually Darl comes up without a casket. (Faulkner 151) Then when Tull’s view is read, we learn that Darl left Cash to secure Addie for himself and abandoned their dead mother for his own sake (Faulkner 152). This act of deserting Addie shows that Darl could care less about Addie and more about himself. In the aftermath, Jewell, along with the rest of the family, goes downriver in passionate pursuit of the casket. This showed Darl that even after Addie’s death, he still feels as if his situation is only getting worse because Jewell’s bond is …show more content…

In the novel, Darl seems to have the ability to know what other people are thinking, or in specific terms, has the power of clairvoyance. However, this power is not of a fantasia source rather than he himself being extremely intelligent. Over time, growing up as an unsupported child from his mother caused Darl to be more observant of his surroundings and to think for himself. Throughout the book it’s shown that Darl has a harder path and more workload than that of his family. For example, in the beginning of the book Faulkner tells the reader about Jewell’s and Darl’s walk through the cotton house where Darl is posed with the longer route and Jewell has taken the easier straightforward route (Faulkner 4). This preludes that throughout Darl’s life he always has had the harder life and, in so, has become more aware of everything that surrounds him. He becomes a character that isn’t close with anyone but still feels like he has a connection to them through what he can observe in them. Other characters in the novel don’t necessarily speak to him directly or relay information through him, he just already knows this information because of how he reads people, showing a deep understanding he has of the psychological aspects of

Open Document