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As I Lay Dying
by William Faulkner
Dewey Dell Bundren Timeline and Summary
Dewey Dell recounts her picking cotton by the woods with Lafe. She made a deal with herself whether or not she would have sex with Lafe, depending on the fullness of her cotton sack. Dewey Dell is pregnant, and no one else knows but Darl. She continues to be in the room with Addie, fanning her. Dewey Dell tells Peabody that Addie wants him to leave the room. She says that Addie wants to see Jewel. She throws herself onto Addie’s body after she dies. Dewey Dell finally stops fanning while keening. Dewey Dell goes onto the porch before start dinner and speaks in abstractions to Peabody, requesting an abortion. She prepares a dinner of turnip greens, bread, and buttermilk. She calls for Vardaman to return for supper (though she doesn’t eat). Dewey Dell finds him in the barn, en route to milking the cow. She gives Vardaman a harsh shaking. She talks to him in the barn after Vardaman freaks out about Cora cooking the fish. Dewey Dell leaves for Jefferson with the family. Dewey Dell stays overnight at Samson’s with the family. She arrives at the flooded bridge with the family. She walks across the bridge. She chases Vardaman when he runs after Darl. Dewey Dell stays overnight at Armstid’s with the family. Dewey Dell arrives in Mottson with the family. Dewey Dell goes to the pharmacy and asks the druggist Moseley to give her something to abort her pregnancy for ten bucks. Dewey Dell leaves Moseley’s without any medicine. She tells Vardaman to keep the burning barn events a secret. She calls for Jewel when he runs to the coffin by the fire. She changes clothes on the side of the road before arriving in Jefferson. Dewey Dell is perhaps the one who told officials that Darl started the fire. She arrives in Jefferson with the family. Dewey Dell throws herself on Darl, clawing at him, to ensure the officials get him. She goes to a local pharmacy and offers ten dollars (but pays more in dignity fees) to MacGowan for a supposed abortion fix. She is coerced into having sex with MacGowan in the cellar. She goes back to the hotel with Vardaman, talking about bananas. She is sitting on the wagon, eating bananas with Vardaman.