As I Lay Dying


William Faulkner

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As I Lay Dying: 18. Cash Summary & Analysis

In a precise numerical list, labeled 1—13, Cash explains his decisions for making Addie's coffin on the bevel (on a slant). His most notable reasons are the fact that there is "more surface for the nails to grip," "water will have to seep into it on a slant," and "the animal magnetism of a dead body makes the stress come slanting."
The rigidity of this section speaks to Cash's tendency for pragmatic action over language and self-expression. Cash's obsessive nature about things in the world around him and his accompanying tendency to ignore his own needs are qualities that he channels in an effort to do heroic deeds, unlike many of the other Bundren characters.
Self-Interest Versus Heroic Duty Theme Icon
Language versus Action Theme Icon