A commentary on one of Darl's Sections of William Faulkners "As I Lay Dying"

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, Undergraduate January 1996

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Most authors have certain styles that result in bringing across certain ideas. In As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner uses a subtle and discreet narrative manner to bring forth important pieces of information that adds to the story, and important themes. In one of the chapters narrated by Darl, this is shown very well In this chapter Darl uses a flashback to let us get a more in-depth look at the Bundren family; to let us see why it is so 'dysfunctional.' In this chapter we learn more about the relationships within the family, and more about Addie, about whom we previously have not learned much. We see how keen Darl's sense of intuition is, and we learn an important family secret.

Darl is often used as an objective speaker, although he is indeed involved with the situation he is speaking about. In this chapter he recalls Jewel's purchase of his horse.

This is a strong clue that Jewel is not Anse's son, since Anse is extremely lazy and would never work as hard as Jewel did for a horse. We also see the tension between Anse and Jewel. We see the lack of respect Jewel has for Anse. It is rather ironic when Anse says 'He's just lazy, trying me' (p. 129) Since Jewel has been working really hard, and it is Anse who is lazy. Furthering on Jewel and Anse's relationship, I feel that it is fairly evident that Jewel knows that Anse is not his father. This is illustrated in the following section on page 136: 'Jewel looked at Pa, his eyes paler than ever. 'He won't never eat a mouthful of yours' he said. 'Not a mouthful. I'll kill him first. Don't you never think it. Don't you never.' 'The antagonism Jewel holds toward Anse...