As I Lay Dying


William Faulkner

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As I Lay Dying: 37. Darl Summary & Analysis

Cash is found lying on the side of the river wet and unconscious, next to a puddle of his own vomit. The family makes arrangements to find missing objects in the river from the now decrepit wagon, which the other family members are working to retrieve from the rushing river as well. Tull fixes a rope to a nearby to hold as he looks for missing things in the water. Jewel dives right into the current to look for Cash's tools in particular. The family and Tull attempt to wake Cash up from his unconsciousness: Dewey Dell addresses Cash by name as she lifts his head, while the others hold his tools, which Jewel has rescued, above his head. Jewel and Tull go in search of Cash's saw set, realizing that it is still missing. Cash wakes up and vomits once again.
In a certain sense, it is possible to understand Cash's injury in direct relationship to his instruction to Darl to stay in the wagon for safety. Cash is a martyr who sacrifices his own well-being to provide for others. Cash's injury can thus be seen simply as bad luck, or as a religious curse unfairly brought onto the Bundrens' most innocent family member, reinforcing Cash's victimization and other Christ-like qualities. Jewel's response to Cash's injury and lost tools continue to show his fierce commitment to action as a way of expressing himself.
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