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Dewey Dell The Victim Of Circumstances

1549 words - 7 pages

In Faulkner’s novel As I Lay Dying we can meet with 15 different characters, who narrate the story from own perspective. One of those characters is Dewey Dell, to whom life changed completely after mother’s death. She is the only girl in the Bundren family of boys and on top of all, she is pregnant. Owing to the consequence of the affair, she is much more interested in getting rid of her pregnancy than her mother’s funeral. However, the situation is not easy for her, because she doesn’t want this child and she can’t talk about her secret with anyone. She approaches the world in her own, unclear way, which is partially shaped through circumstances she grew up. At once, she has to cope not just with the consequences of her romance, but also she has to accept a new role of mother and women in the house of the Bundren family. While other relatives have chance to manifest their feelings about the journey to Jefferson, she is ignored and feels rather alone.She is looking for a solution from her precarious situation, but she fails all the way. Her childish and artless nature is suddenly forced to behave as a woman, who seems to be lost. Therefore, the character of Dewey Dell becomes a victim of the whole story.
Already at the beginning, Dewey Dell was never seen as a regular member of the family. From Addie’s narration, we can see, that Dewey Dell wasn’t accepted as a child, who should deserve to devote special attention. She says: “I gave Anse Dewey Dell to negate Jewel” (60). Her statement refers to Addie’s no relationship to her daughter. With the birth of Dewey Dell Addie seems to compensate the illegitimate brother Jewel and Dewey Dell becomes rather a release of Addie’s sin than to be a real beloved part of the family. The fact she was neglected during her existing life proves also the situation when she requires for last mother’s attention, which doesn’t come. “'Ma', she says; 'Ma'” (15), Addie ignores Dewey Dell entirely and looks through the window for Cash, “You, Cash!” (15). We can see, that even if Dewey Dell wanted to stand by her mother in the last moment, it was not allowed to her to do so and she had to remain in a disrespectful position of an equal member of the family.
Perception of Dewey Dell by other family members is also changing in another way, when Addie dies. After mother’s death, Dewey Dell is depicted as the new mother to Vardaman and as a woman in the house. Unlike the rest family, she has to cope with leaving of her mother, admit her new obligations in the house and together with her new role in the family, she recognizes she is pregnant. She actually doesn’t know, how to behave in such situation, because she have never experienced the real mother’s relationship to own child and she has never felt the real mother’s love. Later on, as they are moving along the Addie’s coffin, she repeats “too soon too soon too soon” (39), which refers to the fact that she is neither prepared to be the mother to Vardaman, not for her unborn...

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