A plot summary of the book as i lay dying

As the book opens, Addie is alive, though in ill health.

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Twice, the family almost loses Addie's coffin — first, while crossing a river on a washed-out bridge two mules are lostand second, when a fire of suspicious origin, starts in the barn where the coffin is being stored for a night.

Dewey Dell, for the second time in the novel, goes to a pharmacy, trying to obtain an abortion that she does not know how to ask for. Darl, who narrates much of this first section, returns with Jewel a few days later, and the presence of buzzards over their house lets them know their mother is dead.

They tell Gillespie that they will have Darl committed for the destruction of Gillespie's property. Each narrator — family members and outsiders alike — is believable but at the same time unreliable, forcing readers to decide for themselves what is reality and what is not.

When they come to the bridge, they eventually decide to let Anse, Dewey Dell, and Vardaman, holding the hand of Tull, a friend of theirs, walk across it while Cash, Darl, and Jewel will drive the wagon through the river.

As i lay dying book pdf

Darl, who narrates much of this first section, returns with Jewel a few days later, and the presence of buzzards over their house lets them know their mother is dead. Addie's dead body has to put into the wagon and Jewel almost alone himself puts her dead body in the wagon as Cash has already broken his leg at his job site. A half-brother to the other children and the favorite of Addie, he is the illegitimate son of Addie and Reverend Whitfield. Anse, his wife just recently buried, finds a new wife in town. As the book opens, Addie is alive, though in ill health. Before that happens, however, Darl, the second eldest, is seized for the arson of the barn[ clarification needed ] and sent to the Mississippi State Insane Asylum in Jackson. However, Jewel is able to rescue his mother's coffin along with all of Cash's tools. When they reach Jefferson, they borrow some shovels and bury the body.

When they discover that a bridge has washed out, the family must find a way to get Addie's coffin over the river, and the ensuing scenes are both tragic and comic. Cash completes the coffin before the night falls.

As i lay dying movie

On their way into the river, the wagon is disturbed and the coffin is knocked out by the flowing stray log. Cash, the oldest son of the family, is a carpenter. Peabody tells Cash his leg will never be the same. Vardaman, the youngest child, is traumatized horribly by his mother's death, and continues to confuse her with the fish he caught and killed earlier that same day. As the Bundrens are setting off to return home, he brings the woman out and introduces her as his new bride. Ironically, Jewel at first makes sure his horse is not dead. The only daughter Dewey Dell is taking care of Addie, constantly fanning her from the heat. The family continues on its way. Darl, who narrates much of this first section, returns with Jewel a few days later, and the presence of buzzards over their house lets them know their mother is dead. Unfortunately, a storm then comes through causing the river to rise and the bridge to be unstable. Peabody is also a recurring character in the Yoknapatawpha County universe. He first used the technique in The Sound and the Fury , and it gives As I Lay Dying its distinctly intimate tone, through the monologues of the tragically flawed Bundrens and the passers-by whom they encounter.

Dewey Dellthe only girl of the family, nurses her own secrets: she is pregnant, and will seek an abortion in town.

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As I Lay Dying Summary