Study Guide

As I Lay Dying Section Fifteen, narrated by Vardaman

By William Faulkner

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Section Fifteen, narrated by Vardaman

  • Vardaman is not handling death well. He asks Cash if he is going to nail the coffin shut with their mother inside it. Vardaman describes how his father walks around the coffin, and his father’s shadow also walks around the coffin.
  • Dewey Dell and Vardaman are supposed to go to buy bananas because coffee, sugar, and flour are too expensive. Vardaman questions why they are too expensive and, if so, how come people in town can afford them – and why wasn’t he born in the town, not in the country?
  • Vardaman believes that the corpse is not his mother, that his mother left before she was bedridden. He again relates the fish’s death to his mother’s death, confusing his mother for the fish. He figures that once the fish is cooked and his family members eat it, their mother will be alive in them.

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