As I Lay Dying

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As I Lay Dying 10. Darl Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
On their errand, Darl provokes Jewel by telling him that Addie is going to die. Jewel does not answer, and Darl pessimistically thinks to himself, "It takes two people to make you, and one people to die. That's how the world is going to end."
Darl's deliberately sadistic treatment of Jewel here calls into question the traditional image of family. Despite the provocative nature of Darl's behavior, his intensity points to the fact that he, like Jewel, both are supremely affected by the impending death of their mother.
Themes
Family, Birth, and Death Theme Icon
Darl then recalls the moment when he accused Dewey Dell of wanting Addie to die just so she can get to town. In asking Dewey Dell this question, Darl expresses his awareness of what happened between his sister and Lafe, though she won't admit it. Darl then notices the sun begin to set "like a bloody egg," and aggressively taunts Jewel again, repeating the fact that Addie is going to die.
Darl's interest in the nature of existence leads him to act in ways that are often hard to understand—provoking his siblings by telling them things he knows they do not want to hear. Darl is set apart from the rest of the more ignorant Bundren characters for his sophisticated expressions of feeling in language, but his actions to express his feelings often challenge the notion of love most commonly associated with family.
Themes
Mortality and the Nature of Existence Theme Icon
Family, Birth, and Death Theme Icon
Language versus Action Theme Icon