As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner Online Book Summary
Darl is watching Jewel approach on his horse, and describes it as happening in slow motion. The wagon passes a faded sign, "New Hope Church. 3 mi."
Cash remarks that in a few days the body will begin to smell and that it was not balanced for a long trip. Jewel finally arrives on his horse.
The entire family is now together on this trek.
This section is foreboding. The sign for "New Hope" is fading, and one gets the sense that hope for the Bundren's is fading as well. Cash’s remark that Addie’s corpse will begin to smell soon and that it is not well balanced suggest the potential for trouble.
Anse is thinking to himself about the difficulties of country life. He says that a countryman can never get ahead but the city dweller lives well off of the work of country people.
Anse remarks that the bridge at Samson’s place is also out and that the river is still rising. He feels that this is all part of his suffering, but since suffering is a sign of being chosen by God, he is clearly one of the chosen. The section ends with Anse remembering that in Jefferson he will be able to get some new teeth.
Faulkner is giving an insight into a countryman’s view of the city worker: the former works while the latter prospers. Vardaman, when he was talking about how wonderful city life must be, was likely professing his father’s views.
The discovery that the bridge is out comes directly after the foreboding events of the previous chapter. Given the Bundren "bad luck," we should not be surprised if more difficulties arise.
The final line though does provide some optimism. Anse still will get his teeth. It should be noted that this section does not mention or allude to Addie, the official reason for the trip to Jefferson, but it does mention the teeth.
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TheBestNotes Staff. "TheBestNotes on As I Lay Dying".
. 09 May 2017