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Free Study Guide-As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner-Free Book Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

SECTION 58: Dewey Dell

Summary

Anse sees her ten dollars and takes it. She says that it was not hers, that it was the money she got for selling Coraís two cakes. Dewey Dell says that if he takes it he will be a thief and he reacts by saying that he has fed and sheltered her and given his children everything they could ever ask for and "my own daughter . . . calls me a thief over her motherís grave." He asks where she got it, but she will not tell. He tells her he will pay it back. She calls him a thief again and so he repeats that he has always given his children what they wanted "without stint" and that Addie was lucky to be dead now that her children were acting like this. The section ends with Anse leaving with the money.

Notes

Anse stoops to the lowest possible rung of humanity: he takes money from his daughter while stating that he was the most generous of fathers and attempts to make her feel guilty by evoking her recently deceased mother while he is courting another woman. Dewey Dell is now pregnant and penniless. Her father will have new teeth and a new wife soon; her future looks bleak.


SECTION 59: Cash

Summary

Anse, Cash, Jewel, Dewey Dell, and Vardaman are in the wagon. Jewel says that they should take Cash to Peabodyís before returning the shovels but Anse says no. They stop in front of the future Mrs. Bundrenís house; Jewel and Vardaman both volunteer to return the shovels but Anse insists that he be the one to return them. Cash listens to the music coming from the graphophone and thinks how nice and relaxing it would be to have one. After quite a while, he returns and they take Cash to the doctor while Anse gets a shave. That evening Anse dresses up and tells the children he has business to attend to.

The next morning Anse says he needs to do something else and for them to meet him at the corner. When they get to the corner, they see Anse coming, looking differently, and holding a suitcase. Dewey Dell and Vardaman stop eating their bananas and notice that he has his new teeth. When Anse arrives, they see behind him a "duck-shaped" woman whom he introduces to them as the new Mrs. Bundren, who is carrying a portable graphophone.

Cash thinks for a moment that it is too bad that Darl will not be there to enjoy the music, but then thinks that "this world is not his world; this life his life."

Notes

The novel ends on a seemingly happy note, but it is happy primarily for Anse: he has new teeth and a new wife (who is noticeably more wealthy than he). Cash does get access to the graphophone that he has wanted, but at the expense of his leg. Darl is locked up. Vardamanís horse is still missing. Dewey Dell is further along in her pregnancy now is penniless. Vardaman has bananas but no train or fish.

It is interesting to note that the new Mrs. Bundren is compared to a duck, especially since ducks eat small fish. One could easily see this as suggesting that the new Mrs. Bundren is a threat to Vardaman.

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