As I Lay Dying

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As I Lay Dying 22. Cash Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Cash attempts to explain why the coffin won't balance in an intense but short dialogue with an unnamed family member, who curses Cash, saying, "Pick up, goddamn your thick-nosed soul to hell."
Cash's fixation with the coffin's balance shows that Cash does not express emotion verbally but channels it into care and sensitivity for details in the physical world—specifically, the things he has built, such as the coffin. The unnamed relative (soon revealed to be Jewel) does not embrace Cash's concerns in the face of their shared tragedy, but appears to resent Cash for his different mode of coping.
Themes
Family, Birth, and Death Theme Icon
Language versus Action Theme Icon