Chapter 1-5

“Riches is nothing in the face of the Lord for He can see into the heart.” -Cora (Chapter Two)

As I Lay Dying starts off in the perspective of Darl, which is Addie Bundren’s son. He starts by stating what’s going on. His mother is on her deathbed and is watching Cash make her coffin. Then in Chapter Two the perspective switches to Cora who is a family’s friend. Cora is a true Christian and doesn’t question God at all. Chapter Three switches back to Darl’s perspective. Darl tells us how he loves to drink water especially at night and how Jewel is an animal abuser. Chapter Four is in Jewel’s, Addie’s other son, perspective. Jewel doesn’t believe in God and hates how everyone is treating his mother by building her coffin, where she can watch, and fanning her, waiting on her to die. Jewel just wants to be alone with his mother on her final days. Chapter Five switches back to Darl’s perspective. Darl says Jewel wanted to make three dollars, but in order to make them, they had to leave their mother, while she is on her deathbed. Addie wants her family there with her when she dies. She also believes what the doctor tells her. Jewel fusses the entire time because he hates how everyone is rushing Addie to die.

When I first started reading As I Lay Dying, I noticed that every chapter is in a different person’s point of view. Each character has a different view of what’s happening. The feelings toward each other and about the situation is very subjective. So far in this book, I don’t know who to trust. The author, William Faulkner, identify each character by an object. Each object is a symbol in the book.

Darl: second oldest of Addie’s children and the most sensitive
Jewel: meanest of all of Addie’s children but is very passionate and loving towards his mother also an animal abuser
Cora: a religious woman and Tull’s wife

Tull’s wagon: wealth and industry
Cash’s saw: carpenter
Addie’s coffin: death

So far in this book I feel like Jewel is going to be my favorite character. Jewel seems independent and has so much love for his mother. I can tell that Jewel means well when it comes to those he cares about. He did not want his mother to watch his brother build her coffin or have people waiting on her to die; he just wants to spend the rest of his mother days with her alone. The only flaw about Jewel I don’t like and disagree with is his cruelty towards animals. If he did not abuse the horse he would be the perfect character to me in this book.

My least favorite character in As I Lay Dying is Darl. Darl is the typical character that everyone loves. He is kind and very sensitive, but to me he is weird. Who wonders at night, naked and feeling themselves but not touching themselves, thinking if their older brother is doing the same? I do give Darl his props though. He does care for his mother a lot to want to stay with her until she dies to spend her last moments with her family.

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