October 15, 2010
As I Lay Dying - Vardaman
Vardaman Bundren is the youngest of the family, between the ages of ten and thirteen. At first, we think that Vardaman’s character is illiterate just because of his age, however, throughout the novel we learn that it is just the way he is. His character reveals that his idiotic thoughts aren’t so idiotic to himself. He is confused about many things but also has quite an imagination. William Faulkner used Vardaman’s character to write with diction that is almost impossible to read. Faulkner made him speak as a child, because that is just what he is. His sentences are usually drawn out and rarely ever make sense, but that’s what the readers love about Vardaman, is that he is the most uninformed of the family. He is a fun character to read along with because his chapters usually have something interesting to say in them.
Vardaman is very bewildered about his mother, Addie Bundren’s death. He is not quite sure how to react to it, because he doesn’t really know what is going on and cannot face the reality of her death. At first, Vardaman thinks the Dr. Peabody has killed his mother. “As soon as he gets through kicking I can and then I can cry, the crying can. He kilt her. He kilt her” (54). Initially, Vardaman is convinced that Dr. Peabody killed her because he came to visit Addie and see how she was doing. After she dies, Dr. Peabody had just left which is why Vardaman accuses him of killing her. After realizing what actually happens, he becomes delusional and more distressed. “My mother is fish” (84). Vardaman mistakes his mother for a fish because at the beginning of the novel, he catches a fish and then merely cuts it into pieces. He relates this to his mother because he knows the fish is no longer a fish, and because his mother is dead, he assumes that Addie has transformed into the fish. He still believes that she is alive, however, while...