Because I said If you wouldn’t keep on sawing and nailing at it until a man cant sleep even and her hands laying on the quilt like two of them roots dug up and tried to wash and you couldn’t get them clean. I can see the fan and Dewey Dell’s arm. I said if you’d just let her alone. Sawing and knocking, and keeping the air always moving so fast on her face that when you’retired you cant breathe it, and that goddamn adze going One lick less. One lick less. One lick less until everybody that passes in the road will have to stop and see it and say what a fine carpenter he is. If it had just been me when Cash fell off of that church and if it had just been me when pa laid sick with that load of wood fell on him, it would not be happening with every bastard in the county coming in to stare at her because if there is a God what the hell is He for. It would just be me and her on a high hill and me rolling the rocks down the hill faces and teeth and all by God until she was quiet and not that goddamn adze going One lick less. One lick less and we could be quiet. (13-14)
The first glimpse of Jewel is as a kind of robot. The second time he seems to have only one focus, the taming of the horse. But here we see Jewel with something nearing human emotional feeling for his dying mother.
“Then Jewel is enclosed by a glittering maze of hooves as by an illusion of wings; among them, beneath the upreared chest, he moves with the flashing limberness of a snake. For an instant before the jerk comes onto his arms he sees his whole body earth-free, horizontal, whipping snake-limber, until he finds the horse’s nostrils and touches earth again” (12).
The narrator does not provide an emotional description of Jewel’s reaction to the horse standing up. The narrator is in awe of Jewel’s composed demeanor and competence working with the horse.
“The cow lows at the foot of the bluff. She nuzzles me, snuffing, blowing her breath in a sweet, hot blast, through my dress, against my hot nakedness, moaning.” (61)
Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text. New York: Vintage Books, 1985. Print.
This sexualization of an animal, which occurs also with Jewel and his horse, seems to follow the development of Dewey Dell’s own sexuality.
“‘Eat’, he says. “Get the goddamn stuff out of sight while you got a chance, you pussel-gutted bastard. You sweet son of a bitch,” he says”
Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text. First Vintage International Edition. New York: Vintage Books, 1990. Print.
Knowing that Jewel’s most prized possession is his horse that he worked so hard for, his way of speaking to his horse seems strange. How he deals with the emotions of love and caring is much different than his brothers and most people in general. His differences from his brothers establish him as a loner.
“Why, Addie,” pa says, “him and Darl went to make one more load,” (41)…
Jewel’s hat droops limp about his neck, channelling water onto the soaked towsack tied about his shoulders as, ankle-deep in the running ditch, he pries with a slipping two-by-four, with a piece of rotting log for fulcrum, at the axle. Jewel, I say, she is dead, Jewel. Addie Bundren is dead (46).
Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. New York: Modern Library, 2000. p.41-46 Print.
Darl gains omniscient properties after Anse notes that Darl isn’t at the house, but out with Jewel. It is peculiar that Darl recounted events he was not present for in a normal narrative style, yet his telling Jewel that Addie was dead was told in italics, as if he wasn’t actually present for that.