As I Lay Dying

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As I Lay Dying 9. Anse Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Still sitting on the porch, Anse curses the road, the rain, and finally, his sons. He believes the road by the Bundren home is the source for his bad luck. Anse expresses resentment for all the things for the family that he has to pay for and complains about the fact that he is missing a tooth.
Coping with misfortune, Anse is quick to blame things in the world around him , rather than take responsibility. He does not display sympathy for his children as is customary for a parent, but instead looks to them as a cause for his bad luck. Anse unapologetically reveals how selfish a father (and person) he is.
Themes
Self-Interest Versus Heroic Duty Theme Icon
Family, Birth, and Death Theme Icon
After a while, Vardaman returns to the house with the fish chopped up, and with his own body covered in blood. Anse tells Vardaman to go wash his hands, and Vardaman asks if his mother is still sick. Anse regrets the fact that he can't seem to get access to his heart, his feelings, and blames his apparent callousness on the bad weather.
Ignoring Vardaman, his youngest son, Anse continues to prove himself a selfish and uncaring father, calling into question typical traditional family structures. His tendency here to blame things around him for his personal failures provides another example of a character using language to attempt to explain their negative situation.
Themes
Self-Interest Versus Heroic Duty Theme Icon
Family, Birth, and Death Theme Icon
Language versus Action Theme Icon