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A Good Carpenter: Cash Bundren’s Quest for Balance and Authority

A Good Carpenter: Cash Bundren’s Quest for Balance and Authority A Good Carpenter: Cash Bundren’s Quest for Balance and Authority by Jason S. Todd Near the end of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, Cash Bundren lies in the office of Peabody, the town doctor, his leg broken and in a cast made of concrete. Peabody berates Cash, the oldest of the Bundren children, for allowing his father, Anse, to do something as foolish as pour concrete on bare skin. When Cash tells Peabody, “It never bothered me much,” Peabody corrects him: “You mean, it never bothered Anse much.” Cash, however, will not accept the criticism of his father. When Peabody sarcastically quips that perhaps Cash has been lucky by breaking the same leg he broke some years earlier, Cash counteracts the sar- casm by affirming the statement: “Hit’s what paw says,” he explains, proving for once and all his unyielding loyalty to the word of his father (162 – 163). To some- one unfamiliar with the Bundrens, this affirmation of the traditional order of things may seem unremarkable, especially for a poor and uneducated family in rural Mississippi in the 1920s. To those familiar with the Bundrens, however, and with Addie Bundren in particular, such devotion to the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

A Good Carpenter: Cash Bundren’s Quest for Balance and Authority

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 46 (1) – Feb 13, 2014

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

A Good Carpenter: Cash Bundren’s Quest for Balance and Authority by Jason S. Todd Near the end of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, Cash Bundren lies in the office of Peabody, the town doctor, his leg broken and in a cast made of concrete. Peabody berates Cash, the oldest of the Bundren children, for allowing his father, Anse, to do something as foolish as pour concrete on bare skin. When Cash tells Peabody, “It never bothered me much,” Peabody corrects him: “You mean, it never bothered Anse much.” Cash, however, will not accept the criticism of his father. When Peabody sarcastically quips that perhaps Cash has been lucky by breaking the same leg he broke some years earlier, Cash counteracts the sar- casm by affirming the statement: “Hit’s what paw says,” he explains, proving for once and all his unyielding loyalty to the word of his father (162 – 163). To some- one unfamiliar with the Bundrens, this affirmation of the traditional order of things may seem unremarkable, especially for a poor and uneducated family in rural Mississippi in the 1920s. To those familiar with the Bundrens, however, and with Addie Bundren in particular, such devotion to the

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Feb 13, 2014

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