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As I Lay Dying Summary and Analysis of Section 7


Seventh Section (Money, Peabody, MacGowan, Vardaman, Darl, Dewey Dell, Money; Pages 219-48):

Money justifies the family’s choice to send Darl to the asylum. Gillespie was threatening to sue them for the damage of the barn (he found out, in some way, that Darl had actually set the fire); it was either face a suit or send Darl off. Jewel seems practically excited to send out Darl off. Cash is not. Cash believes that the difference between insane and sane is not so easy to make: “It resembles it ain’t a lot what a fellow does, but it’s the method a majority of folks is taking a look at him when he does it” (220 ). Darl wants to get a medical professional for Money prior to they bury Addie; Cash keeps in mind, feeling that in between the 2 of them there has actually constantly been a kind of nearness. Money states he can handle. Anse goes off to look for spades. He goes into a place from which gramophone music is playing. Money describes this location as “Mrs. Bundren’s house” (222 ). With 2 borrowed spades, they go off to bury Addie. The lady of the house takes a look at the window as they go, and Anse waves at her. After Addie is buried, the guys from the institution come and control Darl, with help from everybody in the household except Cash and Vardaman. Darl is shocked. He can not think that Cash didn’t alert him.

Peabody tells. He is dealing with Money’s leg, while Anse returns the borrowed spades. Peabody can not believe that Anse is such a fool; Cash will be lame for the rest of his life. If he walks at all, he’ll be hobbling on a reduced leg. Peabody continues to condemn Anse, expressing disgust at how Anse had actually Gem committed.

MacGowan tells. He is an assistant at a Jefferson store. Dewey Dell comes looking for a treatment, and he pretends to be a medical professional. She can pay 10 dollars, she assures him. He ushers her down into the cellar, offer her a random sampling of medicine, and informs her to return that night for the remainder of the “treatment.” That night, she comes promptly at 10, with Vardaman in tow. While she goes inside, Vardaman waits outdoors on the curb for her. MacGowan offers her more fake medication, and brings her down into the cellar.

Vardaman tells. While Dewey Dell goes in with MacGowan, he sits outside and thinks about Darl, who has actually gone to Jackson. He knows that individuals say Darl has actually gone bananas. He keeps considering Darl, his sibling, however he does not understand what has occurred. Dewey Dell emerges, and they walk home. She keeps stating that she knows “it” will not work.

Darl narrates. He is on the train to Jackson, on his method to the asylum. He has totally lost his mind.

Dewey Dell narrates. At the hotel, Anse confronts her about the ten dollars she has. She pleads with him, informing him that the money isn’t hers. He takes it from her.

Money tells. He keeps in mind that when they returned the shovels Anse remained in the woman’s home for an unusually long period of time. This occasion occurred before Money was given Peabody. Cash listened to the graphophone music, wondering if he could some day buy one. That night, Anse went off, after a visit to the barber. The next early morning, Anse left again, saying he would meet up with them at the corner. The children wait there, the group hitched up, while Dewey Dell and Vardaman eat bananas. Anse concerns fulfill them, false teeth in his mouth. The lady from whom they borrowed the shovels is with him. She brings the graphophone and her face is repaired in a strong, defiant expression. Anse introduces her as Mrs. Bundren.


Cash comes to control as the narrator near the end of the novel. His 2 prolonged monologues reveal the climactic events that end up the story. His monologues are delivered in previous tense, offering him a more detached perspective.

Money is not a vocally articulate character. For much of the unique, he is basically quiet. Yet he appears to supply just the ideal balance of inflammation and detachment for the book’s closing. He is a delicate character, less user-friendly and smart than Darl, however likewise more stable. His work premises him.

Although in the end he supports Darl’s institutionalization, it is clear that he has sensations of guilt about it. These feelings of guilt stand in sharp contrast to Anse’s indifference and Dewey Dell’s and Gem’s outright hostility. Talking about the plan to dedicate Darl, Anse appears to invite it: ” I reckon he ought to be there,’ pa states. God understands, it’s a trial on me'” (219 ). Anse, as typical, is thinking just of himself. He assesses Darl’s institutionalization only in terms of benefit. Dewey Dell and Gem are downright hostile. When Darl attempts to leave, Dewey Dell jumps on him “like a wildcat” (224 ); when they have Darl pinned, Jewel snarls “Eliminate him … Kill the kid of a bitch” (225 ). Many readers have remarkable compassion for Darl. And while Gem appears initially to be an excellent character, his behavior here leaves a noticeably undesirable impression of him. Keep in mind that just a couple of hours ago Darl stepped in and potentially saved him from major harm. Jewell has plenty of venom versus Darl since Darl attempted to ask Gem about his parenthood. Dewey Dell is upset at Darl because his powers of observation make her feel broke; in fact, it was most likely Dewey Dell who told Gillespie about Darl setting the fire (224 ). The two brother or sisters turn savagely on Darl at the end. The theme of isolation is established in an unexpected method: Dewey Dell and Gem feel their aloneness breached by Darl, and they betray him in the most horrible way you can possibly imagine.

But Darl’s last couple of hours with his household show him at his best. He steps in and assists Jewel; he demands bringing Money to the doctor before burying Addie. He can deep empathy and sensation. He is surprised by his betrayal. Cash himself observes that he and Darl have constantly shared a special bond, partly because they are so much older than the others. And indeed, it is Money’s betrayal that Darl finds the most shocking. When he is held down by the others, who looks up at Cash helplessly: “I thought you would have told me” (225 ). Although Money remains an understanding character, he likewise has actually betrayed Darl. In the end, he says that listening to the graphophone in years afterward constantly made him feel sorry that Darl wasn’t there to delight in the music with them, but he too has decided that it is for Darl’s own great.

Anse’s act is despicable, and Peabody’s monologue highlights that reality. Peabody’s criticism of Anse is the most direct and damning speech about Anse in the entire novel. Absolutely nothing can be respected about a male who takes so little care of his son’s shattered leg, or who can be so unbothered by having a child committed.

Vardaman is the brother or sister who appears to miss out on Darl the most. He keeps home on Darl’s absence, although it is clear he does not comprehend what has actually occurred. He thinks about Darl with envy, due to the fact that Darl is going to Jackson and will ride a train. He continues to repeat to himself that Darl is his bro. The truth about what has occurred will hit Vardaman later, when he is older.

The two brothers continue to have an unique bond. Darl’s final, raving monologue echoes elements of Vardaman’s monologue. But the trauma of being betrayed by his family and committed has pushed Darl into a complete breakdown. He has lost all sense of self: he mentions “Darl” as if he is not Darl. Darl’s philosophical ponderings of being and the basis of being have actually taken a terrible turn. Trauma has actually led him to lose all sense of his identity. His household views him as an outside, and this view is unfortunately paralleled by Darl himself, as his consciousness splits from himself. He sees himself from the outside: “Darl is our sibling, our sibling Darl” (242 ). He appears to be dwelling on how he has actually been betrayed. And he can not stop chuckling. His final interior monologue is one of the most scary representations of insanity in all of literature. However it also appears to be a significant change, a collapse induced suddenly by his family’s betrayal, instead of the unavoidable end of a progressive procedure. The last image is cooling: Darl in a cage, lathering at the mouth, duplicating “yes” to himself again and again. His musings on the instability of identity have degenerated into a loss of identity.

To return to Cash’s thoughts about peace of mind and insanity, the relativism of Money’s analysis is a crucial element of Faulkner’s modernist experiments. Faulkner used stream-of-consciousness to explore reality as emerging from several viewpoints. More than James Joyce or Virginia Woolf, Faulkner’s experiments more self-consciously emphasize the lack of an objective perspective. Fact emerges from a fragmented story. Cash’s observations about insanity drive home the point. Madness is as much a matter of social convention as anything else.

The others continue with life. We hear no more from Jewel, though from Cash’s narrative it appears that Jewel took some satisfaction in Darl’s institutionalization. Dewey Dell is absorbed in her own issues. Vardaman remembers his sibling, but he also considers the toy train and the buzzards; he has actually become more lucid as the book has actually advanced. Still, his connection with Darl may be trigger to question the young boy’s future.

And Anse takes a new wife. Money lets us know that this holds true from an earlier monologue, when he describes the women whose spades they obtain as Mrs. Bundren (222 ); however, most readers slip over the name without understanding what is being indicated. Money’s story remaining in the previous tense likewise contributes to the sense of life going on; his love of the graphophone music and his regret for Darl hint at numerous evenings invested silently together at the Bundren house, taking pleasure in the music. But this is barely an idyllic ending. Anse is among the most repugnant of Faulkner’s characters, primped and absurd with his new teeth and better half; he remains the family patriarch, with Peabody snarling that the entire household would be much better off with Anse dead. The new Mrs. Bundren comes not with a smile, however with an intense appearance of hostility. There is the specter of the pregnancy that Dewey Dell has actually not prospered in terminating. And the family’s betrayal of Darl hints at how delicate the Bundrens’ commitment to each other actually is. The book has actually ended, with sensitive, beautiful Darl destroyed and Anse delighted as punch, able to lose a kid and spouse without even batting an eye. Jewel can call on authorities to kill his own brother without having his peace of mind questioned, however Darl, for attempting to spare his mother further indignity, is ruined. The last tone of the book is of loss and discomfort; the trip has not had to do with recovery so much as about scarring. For the delicate ones among them, life does not offer enough rest for recovery.

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