As I Lay Dying

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As I Lay Dying 46. Darl Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The family and their mules make a pit-stop in front of a house, and Darl tells Dewey Dell to go inside and ask for a bucket to retrieve water. Darl then tells Dewey Dell that she seems to have had trouble selling the cakes in Mottson. Anse, meanwhile, repeats the phrase, "I wouldn't be beholden. God knows."
Once again, Darl subtly expresses his knowledge of Dewey Dell's thoughts and actions out loud, by taunting her about the "cakes" she is trying to sell. Also once again, Anse invokes God, hypocritically attempting to justify his own selfishness.
Themes
Religion and Faith Theme Icon
Language versus Action Theme Icon
Dewey Dell returns with the water bucket and Darl begins to mix the cement to make a cast for Cash's leg. Cash repeatedly tells the family that he can wait another day to have the cast, but they proceed to pour the cement into his splints anyway. Cash responds by saying that the cement feels fine. Jewel, who still had been missing, returns to the family silently. No longer with a horse, Jewel boards the wagon. Anse points out the upcoming hill and tells his children to get out and walk.
The cast Darl creates out of cement only adds to the absurdity of Cash's "heroic" response to his suffering. The cement cast ultimately makes Cash's leg worse, yet not once does he express himself. Similarly, Jewel re-enters the scene in silence, heroically choosing not to express his anger in order to get to Jefferson (for his mother's sake) as smoothly as possible.
Themes
Self-Interest Versus Heroic Duty Theme Icon
Language versus Action Theme Icon