As I Lay Dying

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As I Lay Dying 25. Darl Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Darl watches Anse go toward the barn as Dewey Dell approaches carrying a basket in one arm and a package wrapped in newspaper in the other. Darl notices that Dewey Dell looks "brooding and alert."
Darl's ability to articulate his observations about his family members speaks to his sense of detachedness from the rest of the Bundrens. Darl does not express sympathy for Dewey Dell's apparent anxiety as one might expect, but rather seems to keep surveillance on his sister.
Themes
Family, Birth, and Death Theme Icon
Language versus Action Theme Icon
The family gathers in the wagon and Anse laments Jewel's inconsiderate behavior—specifically his obsession with his horse and the related face that he is not coming with them in the wagon to bury Addie in Jefferson. It is decided that Jewel will follow the Bundren wagon from behind, though Cash suggests that Jewel just stay home. Darl reasons that he will catch up. The wagon leaves and the Bundrens head to Jefferson with Addie's coffin.
Anse explains his anger at Jewel by speaking about the journey to Jefferson as an act of family togetherness and a fulfillment of a "sacred promise" to Addie. However, Anse is selfish and unkind to his children. This calls into question the authenticity of Anse's explanation. Anse's resentment toward Jewel is a feeling felt between many of the Bundren family members, rather than the expected family virtues of care and love.
Themes
Self-Interest Versus Heroic Duty Theme Icon
Family, Birth, and Death Theme Icon