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As I Lay Dying Summary and Analysis of Section 7


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

Money validates the household’s decision to send out Darl to the asylum. Gillespie was threatening to sue them for the damage of the barn (he discovered, in some way, that Darl had actually set the fire); it was either face a claim or send out Darl off. Gem appears almost eager to send out Darl off. Money is not. Money thinks that the difference in between insane and sane is not so simple to make: “It’s like it ain’t a lot what a fellow does, but it’s the method a majority of folks is looking at him when he does it” (220 ). Darl wants to get a medical professional for Cash prior to they bury Addie; Cash bears in mind, feeling that in between the two of them there has actually always been a type of closeness. Money states he can handle. Anse goes off to search for spades. He enters into a place from which gramophone music is playing. Money refers to this place as “Mrs. Bundren’s house” (222 ). With two obtained spades, they go off to bury Addie. The woman 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 subdue Darl, with aid from everyone in the household other than Money and Vardaman. Darl is stunned. He can not believe that Cash didn’t alert him.

Peabody narrates. He is treating Cash’s leg, while Anse returns the borrowed spades. Peabody can not think that Anse is such a fool; Money will be lame for the rest of his life. If he walks at all, he’ll be hobbling on a shortened leg. Peabody continues to condemn Anse, revealing disgust at how Anse had Jewel devoted.

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

Vardaman narrates. While Dewey Dell shares MacGowan, he sits outside and considers Darl, who has gone to Jackson. He knows that individuals state Darl has actually gone crazy. He keeps thinking about Darl, his bro, but he does not understand what has actually taken place. Dewey Dell emerges, and they walk house. She keeps saying that she knows “it” won’t work.

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

Dewey Dell narrates. At the hotel, Anse faces her about the 10 dollars she has. She pleads with him, informing him that the cash isn’t hers. He takes it from her.

Money tells. He keeps in mind that when they returned the shovels Anse remained in the female’s house for an abnormally long period of time. This occasion occurred before Cash was given Peabody. Money listened to the graphophone music, questioning if he could some day purchase one. That night, Anse went off, after a visit to the barber. The next morning, Anse left again, stating he would meet them at the corner. The kids wait there, the team hitched up, while Dewey Dell and Vardaman eat bananas. Anse comes to fulfill them, false teeth in his mouth. The lady from whom they obtained the shovels is with him. She carries the graphophone and her face is fixed in a strong, bold expression. Anse introduces her as Mrs. Bundren.


Cash pertains to dominate as the storyteller near the end of the book. His two prolonged monologues expose the climactic events that finish the story. His monologues are delivered in past tense, offering him a more removed perspective.

Money is not a vocally articulate character. For much of the unique, he is more or less silent. Yet he appears to offer just the right balance of inflammation and detachment for the novel’s closing. He is a delicate character, less intuitive and intelligent than Darl, but also more steady. His work premises him.

Although in the end he goes along with Darl’s institutionalization, it is clear that he has feelings of regret about it. These feelings of regret stand in sharp contrast to Anse’s indifference and Dewey Dell’s and Jewel’s straight-out hostility. Going over the strategy to dedicate Darl, Anse seems to invite it: ” I reckon he should exist,’ pa states. God knows, it’s a trial on me'” (219 ). Anse, as usual, is thinking just of himself. He evaluates Darl’s institutionalization just in regards to benefit. Dewey Dell and Jewel are totally hostile. When Darl tries to get away, Dewey Dell leaps on him “like a wildcat” (224 ); when they have Darl pinned, Jewel snarls “Kill him … Kill the boy of a bitch” (225 ). A lot of readers have incredible compassion for Darl. And while Gem seems at first to be an impressive character, his behavior here leaves a clearly undesirable impression of him. Bear in mind that just a few hours ago Darl stepped in and potentially conserved him from severe harm. Jewell is full of venom versus Darl since Darl attempted to ask Jewel about his parenthood. Dewey Dell is mad at Darl since his powers of observation make her feel broke; in truth, it was probably Dewey Dell who informed Gillespie about Darl setting the fire (224 ). The 2 siblings turn savagely on Darl at the end. The theme of isolation is developed in a surprising way: Dewey Dell and Jewel feel their aloneness broken by Darl, and they betray him in the most terrible way possible.

But Darl’s last few hours with his family show him at his best. He steps in and helps Jewel; he insists on bringing Cash to the doctor before burying Addie. He can deep compassion and feeling. He is shocked by his betrayal. Cash himself observes that he and Darl have actually always 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 Cash stays a sympathetic character, he also has betrayed Darl. In the end, he says that listening to the graphophone in years afterward always made him regret that Darl wasn’t there to enjoy the music with them, however he too has decided that it is for Darl’s own excellent.

Anse’s act is despicable, and Peabody’s monologue highlights that fact. Peabody’s criticism of Anse is the most direct and damning speech about Anse in the entire novel. Absolutely nothing can be appreciated about a man who takes so little care of his kid’s shattered leg, or who can be so unbothered by having actually a child dedicated.

Vardaman is the sibling who seems to miss Darl the most. He keeps dwelling on Darl’s absence, although it is clear he does not understand what has taken place. He considers Darl with envy, since Darl is going to Jackson and will ride a train. He continues to duplicate to himself that Darl is his bro. The truth about what has actually taken place will strike Vardaman later, when he is older.

The 2 siblings continue to have a special bond. Darl’s final, raving monologue echoes aspects of Vardaman’s monologue. However the trauma of being betrayed by his family and devoted has actually pressed Darl into a total 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 an awful turn. Injury has led him to lose all sense of his identity. His family views him as an outdoors, and this view is tragically paralleled by Darl himself, as his consciousness splits from himself. He views himself from the outside: “Darl is our brother, our brother Darl” (242 ). He seems to be residence on how he has actually been betrayed. And he can not stop chuckling. His final interior monologue is among the most frightening representations of madness in all of literature. However it also seems to be a significant modification, a collapse induced suddenly by his household’s betrayal, rather than the inevitable end of a steady procedure. The final image is chilling: Darl in a cage, lathering at the mouth, repeating “yes” to himself once again and again. His musings on the instability of identity have actually deteriorated into a loss of identity.

To go back to Cash’s ideas about peace of mind and insanity, the relativism of Money’s analysis is an important component of Faulkner’s modernist experiments. Faulkner used stream-of-consciousness to explore reality as emerging from multiple viewpoints. More than James Joyce or Virginia Woolf, Faulkner’s experiments more self-consciously stress the lack of an objective vantage point. Reality emerges from a fragmented narrative. Cash’s observations about madness drive house the point. Insanity is as much a matter of social convention as anything else.

The others continue with life. We hear no more from Jewel, though from Money’s narrative it appears that Jewel took some satisfaction in Darl’s institutionalization. Dewey Dell is absorbed in her own issues. Vardaman remembers his brother, but he likewise thinks about the toy train and the buzzards; he has ended up being more lucid as the novel has advanced. Still, his connection with Darl might be trigger to question the young boy’s future.

And Anse takes a brand-new other half. Cash lets us understand that this is the case from an earlier monologue, when he describes the women whose spades they borrow as Mrs. Bundren (222 ); nevertheless, most readers slip over the name without realizing what is being suggested. Money’s narrative being in the previous tense likewise adds to the sense of life going on; his love of the graphophone music and his remorse for Darl hint at lots of nights invested silently together at the Bundren house, enjoying the music. But this is hardly a picturesque ending. Anse is among the most repugnant of Faulkner’s characters, primped and outrageous with his new teeth and better half; he remains the family patriarch, with Peabody snarling that the whole household would be better off with Anse dead. The new Mrs. Bundren comes not with a smile, but with a fierce look of hostility. There is the specter of the pregnancy that Dewey Dell has not prospered in ending. And the family’s betrayal of Darl hints at how fragile the Bundrens’ loyalty to each other really is. The novel has ended, with sensitive, beautiful Darl ruined and Anse delighted as punch, able to lose a kid and wife without even batting an eye. Gem can get in touch with officials to eliminate his own brother without having his peace of mind questioned, but Darl, for attempting to spare his mom even more indignity, is destroyed. The final tone of the novel is of loss and discomfort; the trip has actually not been about healing even about scarring. For the sensitive ones among them, life does not offer enough rest for healing.

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