The word insane means to have a deranged state of mind or someone who has a mental disorder. In As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, Darl is accused of being insane. He is not insane; he is simply trying to express himself in a different manner that his family is too ignorant to understand. His mother’s body has been above ground for nine days; that is enough reason for a person to become partially overwhelmed with, to others around him, insane ideas.
Darl in his chapters is a well-spoken, poetic, clear writer in contrast with his other family members who are incoherent or barely speak. Because of his analyses and descriptions he has become somewhat of the narrator of the book. Darl is intuitive and the most intelligent, sane character in the book: “Rusted, greased-fouled, its cracked chimney smeared on one side with a soaring smudge of soot, it sheds a feeble and sultry glare upon the trestle and the boards and the adjacent earth.” (pg. 75) Darl is also the character that has the most narrative sections in the book.
Darl is fully aware of what is going on around him. His analytical mind figures out that Jewel’s father is not Anse: “Your mother was a horse, but who was your father, Jewel?” (pg. 212). Someone who is mentally ill cannot function in the way Darl does. Darl also is the only family member to notice Dewey Dell is pregnant: “…her leg coming long from beneath her tightening dress…” (pg. 104) Because Darl knows about Dewey Dell, Dewey Dell is the first to hold Darl down when the officers come to arrest him: “She hadn’t said a word, hadn’t even looked at him, but when them fellows told him what they wanted and that they had come to get him and he throwed back, she jumped on him like a wild cat so that one of the fellows had to quit and hold her and her scratching and clawing at him like a wild cat…” (pg. 237) Sending him to a sane asylum was her way out of having her family know the truth.
Darl is in protest to his mother...
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