As I Lay Dying

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As I Lay Dying 36. Tull Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Tull goes home and tells Cora about the Bundrens' wagon fiasco at the river. She thinks both that the hand of God brought the log to the river, and that Anse is at fault.
As Addie explains in her chapter, Cora's way of invoking God in service of judging others reveals the potential hypocrisy of religion that is a theme throughout the book.
Themes
Religion and Faith Theme Icon
Tull then recalls the experience at the river in his own mind"“ specifically vivid is his memory of hearing Vardaman's loud cries as he ran past him and into the water. Tull blames Anse for the misfortune of the situation, and explains how Jewel tightly gripped the rope keeping the coffin and the wagon within reach. Cash, however, was not able to swim and was rescued from the river in a highly compromised physical state.
Tull's judgment of the river fiasco, by contrast, is based on first-hand experience. Tull's empathy for Vardaman shows the absence of care that Anse feels for his own children. Tull's narrations continue to complicate the picture of the Bundrens and their journey's unheroic aspects.
Themes
Self-Interest Versus Heroic Duty Theme Icon
Family, Birth, and Death Theme Icon