Unit 1 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why are Cora and Vernon Tull, Kate, and Eula at the Bundren house?

2. What reason does Anse give for not working?

3. How do we know Cora Tull is not a reliable narrator?

4. How does Dewey Dell explain why she got pregnant?

5. What reason does Tull give for people continuing to help Anse out?

6. Who is Anse’s main concern?

7. Why is Peabody upset at being called to the Bundren’s farm?

8. Why didn’t Anse send for Peabody sooner?

9. What is the function of the italicized sections in Darl’s narratives?

10. What are Anse’s and Dewey Dell’s actual motives for getting to Jefferson?

1. They are being neighborly by helping Anse Bundren and watching by Addie Bundren’s deathbed.

2. Anse does not dare to work because, over 20 years ago, he became sick from working in the sun too long. He now believes that if he works, he might sweat and die.

3. Cora believes that Darl is Addie’s favorite and that Jewel does not care for her. However, just before her narrative, we see that Darl and Anse were less concerned with being at Addie’s deathbed than Jewel was.

4. Dewey Dell says she could not help it. Whether or not she went with Lafe into the shady grove depended upon whether or not her cotton sack was full. She blames fate, not herself.


(The entire section is 418 words.)

Unit 2 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How does Peabody’s team of horses get chased away from the Bundren farm?

2. How did Lafe respond when Dewey Dell told him she was pregnant?

3. How do Cora and Vernon Tull discover that Addie has died?

4. Before boring the holes in the coffin, how else does Vardaman attempt to provide his dead mother with air?

5. Why does Armstid suggest Anse bury Addie in New Hope?

6. Why does Cash walk with a limp?

7. According to Cora, what reward has Addie finally received?

8. Why does Cash take his tools with him on the trip to Jefferson?

9. What other indication does Darl give that he knows Dewey Dell is pregnant?

10. Why does Anse claim to be “the chosen of the Lord”?

1. Vardaman has struck at the horses in retaliation and chases them away, because he feels Peabody is somehow to blame for his mother’s death.

2. Lafe told her that he was more worried than she was. He gave her money to buy some medicine which would cause an abortion.

3. Peabody’s team appears, followed by Vardaman. The boy is soaking wet and incoherent, and the Tulls realize that Addie must have died.

4. Vardaman sneaks into his mother’s room and keeps opening up the windows by her deathbed.

5. The storm is going to wash out the bridge to Jefferson, and the family would not get through without taking more time and effort.

6. Cash broke his leg when he fell more than 28 feet from a church roof on which he had been working.

7. Cora says of Addie, “Wherever she went [when she died], she has her reward in being free of Anse Bundren.”

8. He plans to stop off at the Tulls’ home on the return trip in order to repair the Tull’s roof.

9. When Dewey Dell steps into the wagon to go to Jefferson, Darl notes that her dress is beginning to get tight.

10. Anse, who believes that he suffers more misfortunes than anyone, also believes that the Lord chastises those that He loves.

Unit 3 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why won’t the Bundrens accept food or decent shelter from Samson?

2. What does Samson consider to be the way to show respect to Addie?

3. What does the buzzard in the barn remind Samson of?

4. Who decides that they will cross the river?

5. Why didn’t they get a doctor for Jewel when they thought he was sick years ago?

6. Why did Cash hope that Jewel was not having an affair with a married woman?

7. Who followed Jewel to find out where he was spending all of his time?

8. Why was Tull so intent on getting Cash out of the river?

9. What happens to the Bundren’s team of mules?

10. How does Darl describe the coldness of the river?

1. Anse repeats that they do not want to be “beholden” to anyone. Nonetheless, though he declines hospitality, he manages to get favors from people because he whines, complains, and wears a “hang dog” look which elicits their sympathy.

2. He says the best way to show respect to a woman who has been dead four days is to get her buried as soon as possible.

3. He says the buzzard looks just like a “spraddle-legged” and “old bald-headed” man as it exits the barn, looking back over its shoulder.

4. Cash and Jewel make the decision to go forward and cross the river.

5. Anse didn’t want to spend the money and said it was not necessary.

6. Cash felt that a young fellow should not waste his youth on someone or something which was safe; but, he should save it for something newer, better, and brighter.

7. Cash followed Jewel and discovered that he had been working nights, clearing a field for Quick.

8. Cash did not know how to swim.

9. The mules, caught in the harness and reins, are tied to the wagon and drown in the river.

10. He says it feels “like hands molding and prodding at the very bones.”

Unit 4 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does Cora believe was the relationship between Addie and Reverend Whitfield?

2. Where does Addie go when school lets out?

3. How does Addie feel about her father?

4. Are we sure Addie’s kin are dead?

5. Who does Whitfield credit for Addie’s not confessing about their affair?

6. What kind of doctoring does Uncle Billy usually practice?

7. Why doesn’t Vardaman come in to dinner at Armstid’s house?

8. What does Moseley suggest Dewey Dell use the ten dollars for?

9. How many days has Addie been dead by the time the family arrives in Mottson?

10. What is Cash’s reaction to Anse’s suggestion that they cover his broken leg with a cement cast?

1. Cora believes that Whitfield wanted to wrestle with Addie’s spirit and fight the “vanity in her mortal heart” in order to save her soul.

2. Addie heads down the hill to the spring where it smells of damp, rotting leaves and fresh dirt.

3. She hates her father for having “planted” her.

4. Addie tells Anse that they are in the cemetery, and we assume that she means they are dead.

5. Whitfield says that God, in his infinite wisdom, restrained her from telling her family about her sin.

6. Uncle Billy usually takes care of horses or mules.

7. He stays out in the yard chasing the buzzards away from Addie’s casket.

8. Moseley says that he would never sell such medicine. He tells her to find Lafe and use the ten dollars to buy a wedding license.

9. Someone in Mottson says that Addie has been dead for eight days.

10. Cash seems to want to wait until they get to Jefferson, where a doctor could look at it. However, Anse reminds him that they already spent the money on the cement and pressures Cash into letting them do it.

Unit 5 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Who tries to stop Jewel from returning to the burning barn to save Addie?

2. What is Peabody’s reaction when he sees Cash’s leg in the cement cast?

3. What reactions does the wagon get as it approaches the town of Jefferson?

4. When Anse criticizes Darl’s suggestion that they go to the hardware store to buy spades with which to dig Addie’s grave, what does Darl reply?

5. What does Jewel suggest they do with Darl before the authorities come to get him?

6. How many days has it been between Addie’s death and her burial?

7. Why was Cash surprised that Dewey Dell turned Darl in to the authorities?

8. What is Cash’s response when Darl, restrained by the officials from Jackson, asks him, “Do you want me to go?”?

9. When Anse tries to take the ten dollars from Dewey Dell, to whom does she say the money belongs?

10. What is Cash’s reaction upon being introduced to the new Mrs. Bundren?

1. Jewel shakes him off when Darl grasps at his arm and tells him not to go back in. When Gillespie tries to stop Jewel from going back into the barn, Jewel knocks him down.

2. Peabody is appalled by what Anse has done to Cash’s leg. He tells Cash that Anse should have cured it by sticking it into the saw at the sawmill and said, “Then you all could have stuck his head...

(The entire section is 562 words.)