As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner Online Book Summary
Cash’s section is a list of thirteen sentences why he constructed the coffin on the bevel. While some are reasons why the bevel is better, others are lines which seem to have little significance in themselves.
The first three are reasons that involve surface gripping space, nailing, and water runoff. The next two relate the bevel itself with people’s uprightness or the way they lay down.
The six line is merely the word "except."
The seventh reason undermines the fourth and fifth.
The next two lines are animal magnetism and its definition.
The tenth and eleventh reasons deal with what a beveled coffin looks like after it has been placed in the ground.
The final two lines are his conclusion: beveling is better so I did it.
The list itself reveals Cash’s orderliness. However, the items on the list reveal Cash takes into account more than merely the rational. The key to this list is number eight and nine: animal magnetism. Animal magnetism is the attraction between animate objects as well as between animate and inanimate objects. Cash is making the coffin so that Addie will be in harmony with her surroundings.
The entire section is one sentence: "My mother is a fish."
This represents the extent to which Vardaman has hidden from reality. No longer is the relationship between Addie and the fish associative, it is definitive. In order to deny that it is his mother being buried in the coffin, he redefines Addie as the fish which they have eaten, thus making Addie part of themselves.
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TheBestNotes Staff. "TheBestNotes on As I Lay Dying".
. 09 May 2017