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Insanity In As I Lay Dying Essay

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Knowledge at the Price of Insanity Throughout William Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying, Darl Bundren is never able to have a complete way of identifying himself and experiences an increasing detachment from his family during their trip to bury their dead mother, Addie. . In an attempt to make everything better Darl sets the barn on fire. An act he believes to be very practical, but others see as insane. The connection is completely severed when he is sent away to an asylum in Jackson because of his attempt to end the nightmare journey he and his family were on. Darl’s identity is tied up in Jewel, Addie, and the wagon; without them he will lose the small identity that he has. “Yet the wagon is, because when the wagon is was, Addie Bundren will not be. Jewel is, so Addie Bundren must be. And then I must be” (81). These intense relationships remain throughout the…show more content…
At the end of his monologue, Darl is in Jackson and talks similarily to Vardaman: “Darl is our brother, our brother Darl. Our brother Darl in a cage in Jackson where, his grimed hands lying light in the quiet interstices, looking out he foams” (254). Darl is now only speaking in the third person. His speech evolves to match Vardaman’s. Vardaman is the last family member to feel any connection with Darl; therefore, since Darl’s identity greatly relies on his family, he can only communicate through Vardaman. His shift into a childlike state of mind is his final attempt to grasp at a connection. In this final moment, Darl is not only mentally disconnected, but he also has no physical resemblance of his old self. Imagery is used by Faulkner to compare Darl to a rapid dog. Darl’s connection with himself has been completely severed because even though he is still connected with Vardaman, he no longer has the relationship that his identity depended on, the one between him and
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