While Addie Bundren lies dying, her son Cash builds a coffin outside of her window.
He insists on finishing the coffin because he values his carpentry work more than spending time with his ailing mother.
Also, Cash reveals that he jumps into the river not only to rescue the coffin, but also to retrieve his carpentry tools.
Later, Anse sells Jewel’s beloved horse in order to buy a new team of mules.
Through the Bundrens’ expedition, Faulkner discusses such themes as family, death, individual and society, religion, and suffering.
As I Lay Dying is a complex story that causes the reader to question the characters’ motives in their actions and interpretations of events.
Further, Addie admits that she wants to be buried in Jefferson because she wants to spend eternity as far away from the Bundrens as possible.
Throughout the expedition, Darl—the son whom most people refer to as “queer” because of his alleged telepathic ability—is the only Bundren who questions the family’s motives.
Even Addie speaks from the coffin to reveal her selfishness.
She admits to having an extramarital affair with the local preacher, who is Jewel’s biological father.