“Darl´s Insanity in As I Lay Dying: More than Just a Disease”

Essay by katerkaUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, April 2014

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Academic 1

Academic 2

April 7, 2014

"Darl´s Insanity in As I Lay Dying: More than Just a Disease"

William Faulkner´s novel As I Lay Dying (1930) deals with the themes of existence and identity. Darl Bundren one of the protagonists and also one of the narrators is, in the end, accused of insanity and sent to the Asylum. But his insanity seems to be a consequence of the family journey because he knows how his family is spoiled. So selfishness of Darl´s family is the true reason why he is insane in the end. What should be a journey to bury their mother Addie in Jefferson transforms into fulfilment of their own desires. Darl´s father Anse wants to buy false teeth, his sister Dewey Dell tries to buy an abortion drug. Darl´s problem is not his mental physics but the people around him who are scared of his knowing and what he even might know.

They do not understand his behaviour and therefore they are afraid of his ability to see things in a different way.

First we meet Darl at the beginning of the story after his mother´s death. He seems to be completely sane although he has lost his mother. He is simple, but perceptive enough to see the reality: "Darl is the queer one, the one that aint bright." (Faulkner 51) He seems to be realistic, acts logically and even shows a kind of irony and sarcasm: "But it's not your horse that's dead." "Goddamn you," he says. "Goddamn you." I cannot love my mother because I have no mother. Jewel's mother is a horse." (Faulkner 31)

The journey to Jefferson is full of selfish acts. It starts with Addie´s wish to be buried in Jefferson: "It was her own wish...