As I Lay Dying

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As I Lay Dying 42. Darl Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The Bundrens strap the injured Cash on top of Addie's coffin. The family members try to talk with Cash about his health, but Cash merely mutters about his tools. Jewel rides ahead on his horse to Armstid's home and comes back to the Bundrens with Armstid's team of mules that he has lent them temporarily.
Even in his state of utter helplessness, Cash continues to value his tools above all else, revealing his commitment to fixing things for others. Cash continues to present himself as a Christ-like figure, though his heroic stoicism borders on the absurd. This, like the Bundren journey in general, calls into question the nature and meaning of heroism.
Themes
Self-Interest Versus Heroic Duty Theme Icon
Religion and Faith Theme Icon
The Bundrens then continue on and arrive at Armstid's house. Upon arrival, the family collectively carries Cash in the house. Armstid generously offers them shelter in the house, though Anse declares that they will be fine in the shed. Anse then asks if Armstid would mind giving his children a snack. Armstid kindly agrees to feed the family. Anse repeatedly says that all of Armstid's favors are "for her [Addie's] sake." Darl notices that Jewel remains separate from the family while they eat in Armstid's home, and describes Jewel's rituals of taking care of the horse.
Anse reveals his hypocrisy once again, proudly declaring that he does not wish for Armstid to be too generous and allow them to stay in his home, but immediately then asks for a snack for his children (though most likely for himself). Anse consistently tries to use words to express himself as a hero, doing everything "for her [Addie's] sake," but his actions undermine this and reveal his true, selfish nature.
Themes
Self-Interest Versus Heroic Duty Theme Icon
Language versus Action Theme Icon