In As I Lay Dying what is the importance of the names given to the children Darl and Jewel?  Is there any other meaning?

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kristenfusaro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jewel is given the name Jewel because his birth is the product of an affair between Addie, our main character, and the town clergyman, Whitfield. He is Addie's Jewel because he was a byproduct of true passion in her life, and because he is something good that was produced out of sin. The other characters always state that Addie had a particular affinity to Jewel; that Jewel was her favorite son. Jewel also sacrifices his horse for the sake of the family.

Darl speaks the most often throughout the novel. He seems to be the most reflective and aware out of all the characters. "Darl" could be slang for "darling." "Darling" by definition is "one that is liked or preferred; a favorite." While Darl may not be Addie's favorite son, Darl is certainly favored by Vardaman, Dewey Dell, and Cash. Darl's siblings often look to him for advice and consolation; he is the one with great insight and understanding.