As I Lay Dying: Chapter Analysis

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The last seven sections of William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying” tell the ending of the story, beginning as they bury Addie and ending as they are readying to head home. The sections flow together in telling the last day and their departure, concluding their journey with a clear sense of each family member and their mentality after their mother is finally put to rest. The section both opens and ends with Cash’s narration, as he takes over the role of Darl, who used to be the most reliable. Cash opens with Anse getting the shovels from the stranger’s house, and Darl being taken away to the mental asylum. Cash emerges as a clear and intelligent narrator, who is rather unbiased. He says, of Darl’s insanity, “It’s like it ain’t so much what a fellow does, but it’s the way a majority of folks is looking at him when he does.” (Faulkner). His previous sections were composed of a list of how to build a coffin and why he would bevel it, but as Darl’s mind disintegrates, Cash seamlessly takes over his role and tells the end of the novel with clarity. Peabody picks up the second chapter. This occurs after they have buried Addie, and Cash’s leg is finally treated. He expresses clear dislike for Anse due to his neglect of the leg as well…show more content…
The family is finally unencumbered by Addie’s corpse, yet no narrator seems to express neither relief nor grief that their final journey with mother is now over. The family, besides Dewey Dell, seems united in their thoughts of Darl. Even Darl himself, who thinks the same words as Vardaman, tie the siblings together. Though they do not seem particularly devastated or saddened, they do reflect on the situation which ties the section together. Peabody is the only character who seems angry, he says that Anse was not bothered to “throw that poor devil down in the public street and handcuff him like a damn murderer”
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