As I Lay Dying Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

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In what ways can Darl be considered a tragic hero in William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying?

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There has always been a great deal of debate as to where Darl stands in the narrative of As I Lay Dying; you could make cases for him playing many roles, from protagonist to antagonist to a vehicle for Faulkner's own commentary on the story. There are certainly many arguments that can be made for Darl serving the role of a tragic hero.

Consider, for example, comparing Darl to his brother, Cash. Cash is a man of pure consequence. He is not over-burdened by introspection or emotion, and as we can see from the earliest chapters, he is motivated by utility alone. Darl is completely the opposite. While he is the character with the most emotional depth, he finds this depth to be more of a burden than anything. It certainly serves no purpose in helping him connect with his family.

Darl's clairvoyant nature, his insight, and his ability to articulate not only distances him from his family, but gives him a nihilistic outlook on...

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