As I Lay Dying Themes

1159 Words5 Pages

In the book “As I Lay Dying”, there are fifteen different narrators over the span of fifty-nine chapters. Each narrator plays a crucial role in developing the story and its various themes throughout. One of the most influential narrators in the story is Darl, who narrates nineteen chapters throughout the story. Another important narrator is Jewel, who narrates five chapters. These are two contrasting characters with different perspectives on life. Darl is a quiet and intellectual person whose goal is to understand life and death. Jewel is a very outwardly emotional person and is a man of action. While they have very contrasting perspectives on the situation they are in, they are both vital to the development of the story and helping the reader …show more content…

His perspective in the chapters he narrates shows us he is a very emotional person and reacts out of instinct rather than processing things first. We also learn that he has a knack for perceiving things he doesn’t know for a fact are real. He also tends to refer to himself in the third person, which can be seen as his way of understanding what others think of him. The most important aspect of his character that we learn about is his tendency to let his inner emotions control his actions because he is unable to process them fully and is detached from reality. An example of this is when he burns down the barn to end the trip to bury his mother's body. He does this because of his disappointment and traumatization from her body being destroyed on the trip. As stated before, we learned Darl is not great at expressing his feelings to others and he burns the barn to express how he feels about the entire situation when they are transporting his mother's body. Darl uses very detailed language and focuses on sensory details rather than expressing his emotions. From his chapters we also learn that he is a very intellectual person. In chapter 21 Darl exclaimed “High above the house, against the quick thick sky, they hang in narrowing circles. From here they are no more than specks, implacable, patient, portentous… I cannot love my mother because I have no mother. Jewel’s mother is a horse. Motionless, the tall buzzards hang in soaring circles, the clouds giving them an illusion of retrograde.” (pg. 94-95) This statement from Darl shows us his perspective on the situation while he hints at the fact that the buzzards represent his mothers’ death. It also highlights the descriptiveness with which he observes various situations. Even though he lacks the ability to communicate with others very well, his

Open Document