Student Question

Why does Dewey Dell intensely hate Darl in As I Lay Dying?

Expert Answers

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Dewey Dell and Darl share a trait: both have the ability to "talk without the words," although Darl possesses the trait more acutely than his sister. When he sees Dewey Dell, he knows she is pregnant; she doesn't have to tell him. Because he knows, she hates him. She fears he will tell Anse, and then what will Anse do? Just knowing that Darl knows infuriates Dewey Dell because she doesn't trust him with her secret, a secret she plans to do something about, although she's not exactly sure what that will be. Having no women around from whom she can easily ask advice, Dewey Dell is left to seek information awkwardly from the local pharmacies in the towns the family passes through. All the while, she fears that Darl may tell someone.Her hatred will ultimately find an odious outlet.

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