As I Lay Dying Section Seventeen, narrated by Darl Summary
(Darl is still out in the wagon with Jewel, yet he’s narrating what goes on at home.)
Cash continues to labor over the coffin, despite buckets of rainfall. Anse is by his side but pretty much useless.
They pitch a make-shift tent with Dewey Dell’s raincoat over the lantern. Instead of covering his son, Anse uses Jewel’s raincoat to protect himself from rain.
Vernon and Cora arrive. Vernon helps Cash into the sunrise until the coffin is complete.
Vernon, Anse, Cash, and Peabody carry the finished coffin into Addie’s room. They walk gingerly, as though the coffin were asleep.
Darl contemplates how hard it is to know whether you are alive or not when you’re falling asleep. He guesses that Jewel doesn’t have these problems, because he never asks himself difficult questions about his own existence.