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In the Mind of Darl

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Brown 1

Sharron Brown

Professor Cady

English 132

3 June 2011

In The Mind Of Darl

Deceit and selfishness by Darl's family were the true motives behind committing him into the insane asylum. Darl is committed to an insane asylum for more reasons than his act of arson on Gillespie's barn. He is committed because of the selfishness among certain members of the family whose true motives to go to Jefferson were not to bury Addie where she wanted to be buried, but to tend to their own needs; especially Anse. Although the novel is mainly about Addie Bundren, the mother of Cash, Darl, Jewel, Dewey Dell and Vardeman and wife of Anse, the focus was more importantly on Darl.

The novel begins between the 1920's to 30's in a rural area in Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi. As the second oldest son of the Bundren family, Darl is the first and most important narrator of the novel. Ranging between early to late twenties, he is sensitive, isolated and intelligent, and his monologues are the hardest to understand. Darl's passages are not straight-forward and are un-easy to comprehend. For much of the novel, he acts as a kind of narrative anchor speaking in sometimes third person narration. Because of Darl's isolation from the other characters, most readers come to rely heavily on his version of events which puts him as an important character in the novel. Darl is described in the novel as "the one that folks say is queer, lazy, pottering about the place as no better than Anse..." (Faulkner 24).

In the beginning, Darl persuades his brother Jewel (Addie's third son) to go with him to pick up a load of lumber. Darl's apparent goal is to make sure that Jewel, who is also Addie's favorite son, will not be at her side when she passes. During this time, he states what happened during the time he was gone with Jewel, about his mother's condition. It isn't clear if Darl was told about what was going on with the family during his leave or his own interpretation of what happened, but either way he was not present during the time. Knowing the connection between Jewel and his mother, Darl also tries to get rid of his mother's remains on the way to Jefferson to bury her because he is convinced she is after him.

Since the day Addie was pregnant with Darl, Darl convinces himself at the end of the novel, she did not want him and put a "curse" on Anse. He also believed after she had an affair with Whitfield, the town's minister, and became pregnant with Jewel. The fact that Jewel is named "Jewel", reflects on the value he meant to Addie. He stated Addie said "he" would save her from the water and fire, and Jewel did. In a biblical sense, Jewel was her "savior".

In the beginning of the story, Darl, convinces his brother Jewel, Addie's third son and Darl's half-brother, to go with him to pick up a load of lumber. Darl's apparent goal is to make sure Jewel, who is also Addie's favorite child, will not be by his dying mother's side when she passes. Knowing the connection between Jewel and his mother, Darl tries to get rid of his mother's remains on the long journey to Jefferson while the other family members are trying to bury her. Darl is convinced Addie is after him.

After Addie's request to be buried in Jackson, the family packed her wooden coffin into the carriage, and left to Jackson. Cash, the eldest Bundren child, would sneak out at night and work for Mr. Samson at the farm to earn enough cash for a horse he wanted. This is the same horse he rode while he and the family took their mother to Jackson. While in the hot Mississippi sun, they found a bridge they had to cross in order to go further. The bridge was underwater and while going through, Darl's plan was to dump his mother's casket into the water in order to get rid of her. Jewel risked his life to save his dead mother's body and during the process, Cash had fell off



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