As I Lay Dying

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

As I Lay Dying 59. Cash Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The Bundrens—minus Darl —return to the house from which they borrowed the spades. Jewel suggests that Vardaman go return them, but Anse insists that he do it, and ends up staying inside the house for a long time. Cash defends his father's slow pace, explaining that he simply is not spry. When Anse comes back, they leave for Peabody's house, though Anse goes to the barber to get a shave, telling the family that he has business to take care of.
In Darl's absence, Cash asserts his narrative voice, describing final details about the novel's "action"—the Bundrens' journey. Cash does not seem to have changed: he is still charitable to a fault, rationalizing Anse's selfishness. Whether Cash's defense of his father is heroic, stemming from a sense of familial duty, or is an indication of his excessive kindness remains in question.
Themes
Self-Interest Versus Heroic Duty Theme Icon
Family, Birth, and Death Theme Icon
Language versus Action Theme Icon
The next day, Anse goes out again and tells the family that they will meet later to leave Jefferson finally. The children eat bananas outside, waiting for Anse to return. Eventually, he comes back with a guilty look on his face, wearing a new set of teeth. Anse walks alongside a "duck-shaped" woman with "hardlooking" eyes, who is carrying a gramophone. In the last sentence of the book, Anse approaches his children and says, "Meet Mrs. Bundren."
Anse's casual introduction of the new "Mrs. Bundren" marks the novel's most ironic scene. After "heroically" fulfilling Addie's promise to be buried in Jefferson, Anse ends up marrying the woman from whom he borrowed shovels to bury Addie's corpse just one day before. The quick replacement of Addie not only emphasizes Anse's selfishness, but suggests that the entire was an effort to replace Addie and that that family is just a set of roles to play, rather than a true unit of people.
Themes
Self-Interest Versus Heroic Duty Theme Icon
Family, Birth, and Death Theme Icon