Can you describe the relationship between Cash and Jewel in As I Lay Dying? How do they perceive themselves? How do they feel about each other?

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Jewel and Cash see themselves in very different ways; Cash is a responsible son who sacrifices himself for his mother, while Jewel is the prized son who always receives his mother's attention.

Jewel resents Cash for working to build Addie's casket before she is dead. Jewel says that he resents Cash building the casket:

"Where she’s got to see him. Where every breath she draws is full of his knocking and sawing where she can see him saying See. See what a good one I am making for you. I told him to go somewhere else."

While Cash is working hard to construct the casket for Addie, Jewel begrudges anyone who takes attention away from his mother's devotion to him. Jewel also feels that Cash is showing off and that "everybody that passes in the road will have to stop and see it and say what a fine carpenter he is." Jewel feels that Cash constructs the casket only for his own glory.

Cash, however, is in reality a self-sacrificing person who is concentrated on the nitty-gritty technical details involved in the construction of the casket for his mother. His narrative begins, "I made it on the bevel," and he provides detailed instructions about how he builds the casket, showing intense devotion to his responsibilities. Cash relates to his mother's death in a matter-of-fact way, unlike Jewel. He sees himself as the protector of the family. For example, not only does he build his mother's casket, but he even defends Jewel's purchase of a horse. He says to his parents about Jewel:

"He earned the money. He cleaned up that forty acres of new ground Quick laid out last spring. He did it single handed, working at night by lantern. I saw him. So I don't reckon that horse cost anybody anything except Jewel. I don't reckon we need worry."

Anse resents Jewel for owning a horse, but Cash defends Jewel's right to have the horse. It is fitting that Jewel's horse later kicks Cash and breaks his leg, as Jewel is self-centered, while Cash is self-sacrificing.

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