As I Lay Dying

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As I Lay Dying 3. Darl Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Anse Bundren and Vernon Tull sit on the Bundrens' back porch as Darl makes his return home. Anse asks Darl where Jewel is; before answering his father, Darl takes a drink and then thinks about the pleasure of drinking water, especially when drunk from wood rather than metal.
Darl's descriptions reveal his poetic sensibility and his aura of detachment from the rest of the world, especially in comparison with his family members. He is able to cut himself off from present interactions and transition into a long string of thoughts, commenting on those around him.
Themes
Family, Birth, and Death Theme Icon
Language versus Action Theme Icon
Darl tells Anse that Jewel is down in the barn, where he is attempting to mount his horse, which is behaving aggressively and resisting Jewel's command. Jewel finally mounts the horse and rides it down the hill. When he and the horse return to the barn, Jewel playfully curses at the horse and feeds him.
Darl is able to describe Jewel's actions with the horse from afar, showing his characteristically eerie ability to know about situations even if he does not witness them. Furthermore, Darl once again focuses on Jewel's highly physical presence, and underscores Jewel's sense of affection for his horse.
Themes
Family, Birth, and Death Theme Icon
Language versus Action Theme Icon