Posted at 11.16.2018
Darl Bundren, as we mentioned last week, is a figure whose peculiarity has and is constantly on the inspire debate. Having reached the finish of the book, we now maintain some important info regarding this persona, such as Darl's getting rid of of the barn which housed the corpse of his mother and his succeeding confiscation by the men from the Jackson mental establishment. From their respond to the barn using, we see that the heroes of the novel believe Darl to be crazy, and this might be the truth, but there are critics who believe that Darl's sanity is not a open-and-shut case. With this survey, we will take a look at three articles which contain slightly contrasting views of Darl Bundren, leaving us, the audience, to decide if we believe that Darl is clairvoyant, crazy, or just highly perceptive. We will also be considering these articles through the zoom lens of my last report, discovering if critics agree or disagree with my interpretations, and what details I might have missed.
In his article, "WHAT EXACTLY ARE You Laughing at, Darl? Madness and Laughter in WHEN I Lay Dying, " John Simon seems to believe Darl is not only mad but clairvoyant. First, Simon makes the claim that "Darl is failing as an individual", using words like "dehumanized" to describe him, and even using my very own chosen word, "detached" (108). Unlike the other critics we will look at, Simon does not seem to get any realistic justification for Darl's surprise of information, seeming satisfied with the idea that he is in fact gifted, meaning that he possesses some unusual ability to see what natural individual senses cannot detect. Simon says: "Darl is the surrogate of the author within the book in an exceedingly definite sense insofar as his clairvoyance allows him to roam outside and inside the mind of others and his own mind" (108). Simon here signifies his belief that Darl's clairvoyance isn't just a distinct character characteristic but is also an apparent tool for the author, enabling Faulkner to attain the benefits of a 3rd person narrator in a novel which has only first person narrators.
Another point of interest in Simon's article is his assessment of Darl to Shakespeare's Hamlet: Simon makes this contrast in early stages in the article, but, despite expressing "We will return to the Hamlet theme" he unfortunately will not say much else on the subject. However, the advice alone brought to brain certain similarities between Darl and Hamlet, not only in the question of these madness however in each character's reluctance to rise to action. Darl, after all, waits during almost all of the novel to find yourself in the Bundren's ordeal, choosing perhaps an inopportune minute to take action (I am referring of course to the burning of the barn). But not all critics agree with the proven fact that Darl is mad and, regarding Charles Palliser, they certainly do not concur that Darl has clairvoyant skills.
In "Fate and Madness: The Determinist Perspective of Darl Bundren, " Charles Palliser departs from the views of critics like John Simon, discovering Darl much less a madman but as a highly logical, highly perceptive member of his family. In his own words, Palliser says, "Darl actually has no supernatural gift ideas and there is a rational justification for his expected clairvoyance: all those things he recognizes is the consequence of guesswork predicated on his understanding of the past" (623). In Palliser's thoughts and opinions, Darl watches and discovers so well the personalities and motives of those in his life to the point that these people have simply become predictable to him. This notion is consistent with something I said in my last report, as i suggested that viewers might easily consider Darl to be a psychic but that we presumed he was just highly perceptive. Furthermore, Palliser contends that Darl's obvious predictions into the future (for example, his assertion that Dewey Dell designed to go to Jefferson for an abortion) are grounded in the world of foreseeable individual options: "Darl, then, $foresees nothing at all that's not dependent on human will or, like his forecast of the rain-storm and of as soon as when his mom will perish, predictable on logical or experiential grounds" (624). Darl, regarding to Palliser, will not see the future; he just collects information such as a psychological squirrel, keeping this knowledge within himself for later use.
Unlike the previously mentioned critics, Calvin Bedient, in his article "Pride and Nakedness, " models aside the idea of Darl being clairvoyant or insane, setting his emphasis instead on the fact that Darl is certainly disturbed; receiving this, Bedient tries to identify what may have triggered this disruption. His opinion, in a nutshell, appears to be that Darl doesn't have a distinct identification, at least not in his own sight. "This bitter gift idea and fatality, " Bedient says, "this plurality of being, Darl carries like a cross. If he is a freak, he's also a sufferer, and understands with characteristic lucidity what has made him the casualty he's" (67). And what has made Darl a casualty? Bedient feels it is Addie's love for Jewel. "Darl is available, " Bedient says, "but, because he is unloved, he cannot become himself" (67). The absence of a loving mom body in Darl's life has still left him with a more metaphorical lack in his heart and in his mind; and out of this absence stretches the ambiguity of Darl's place in his family and in reality. Bedient's debate seems particularly cogent since it could be supported by the fact that Darl does indeed seem to be to lack an identification of himself. He will not refer to himself all too often, especially not his emotions or wants, eventually arriving to make reference to himself in the 3rd person as though he were other people. "Darl cannot find his own form" Bedient says. "It really is thus his destiny to be, not himself, but the world. Since Darl, neither functions (he is called "lazy"), nor possesses anything that they can call his own, nor is adored, he must fall back upon introspection to give him personal information" (68). And this is what Darl does indeed until apparently losing a necessary knowledge on the truth where those around him reside.
Deville, Michel. "Alienating Terms and Darl's Narrative Consciousness in Faulkner's WHEN I Lay Dying. " Southern Literary Journal 27. 1 (1994): 61-72. Printing.
Olsen, Kathryn. "Raveling Out Just like a Looping String: WHEN I Lay Dying and Regenerative Language. " Journal of Modern Literature 33. 4 (2010): 95-111. Print.
Palliser, Charles. "Fate and Madness: The Determinist Vision of Darl Bundren. " North american Literature 49. 4 (1978): 619-33. Print.
Simon, John K. "WHAT EXACTLY ARE You Laughing At, Darl? Madness and Humor in As I Lay Dying. " School English 25. 2 (1963): 104-10. Print.