What is described as doing the job it was sent for and then moving on? What appears to be swinging like the pendulum on a clock?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Tull's narration about the wagon capsizing in the water, Tull mentions the log:

Soon as the wagon got tilted good, to where the current could finish it, the log went on. It headed around the wagon and went on good as a swimming man could have done. It was like it had been sent there to do a job and done it and went on.

Tull tells his wife that the Bundrens would have made it across if it hadn't been for that log:

"He (Anse) couldn't done no good, if he'd been there," I said. "They was going about it right and they would have made it if it hadn't a-been for that log.'

Cora, always the one to explain things in religious terms, says,

"Log, fiddlesticks,' Cora said. "It was the hand of God."

Nature seems the enemy of the Bundrens: if it's not the flood, it's fire, or wind (carrying the smell of the corpse).  Here, it's the log.  Does the log have a mind of it's own?  Tull, the male working man, compares it to a swimming man.  He says the log has a job, and it did it, and then left.  Cora, the fervent Biblical believer, says the log was commanded by God.  Regardless, the log helps capsize the wagon, turns the corpse into a swimming fish ("My mother is a fish"), and almost kills Cash.

In a novel where there are 59 narrations, 16 narrators, everyone's going to have a different opinion, not only about the family, but about the natural disasters they encounter.