Cash's birth turned out to be peaceful, but Addie still feels just as alone, and this reinforces the belief she inherited from her father, that living was just preparation for dying.
For instance, early on Cash builds his mother's coffin in view and within hearing of the entire Bundren family and their neighbors, the Tulls.
And while it seems as if the death of this oldest son's mother should be filled with suffering, Cash's total focus on doing a good job keeps him from realizing the horrific effect the sounds his tools make is having upon the others. In addition, the characters themselves are exaggerated human beings who act in an outlandishly shoddy manner.
Darl Bundren is a rather controversial character, because, on the one hand, he is caring, intelligent and sensitive, and on the other, he is crazy, rude and emotionally unstable.
Faulkner utilizes a stylistic technique in As I Lay Dying that juxtaposes serious events with comical situations. Many times in As I Lay Dying it is difficult to differentiate between what is comic and what is tragic.
The overwhelming grief he experiences results in feelings of suffocation and then he thinks that Addie must not be able to breathe in her coffin.
This horrific scene should seemingly invoke within the reader feelings of sadness but when the boy drills air holes in the coffin for his mother to breathe and in the process drills holes into her head, some readers find themselves laughing out loud. Addie Bundren's attitude toward each of her children reveals much about them as characters.
From the very beginning, he doesn’t like the idea of his mother being buried outside their hometown, as he probably knows how much pain it will cause to her body.
However, the other members of the family seem rather comfortable with it.
Darl is depicted to be not very communicative, but very sensitive and intelligent because he is the only one who knows about the pregnancy of his sister and the fact that his brother Jewel is illegitimate.
The author of the novel depicts Darl to be very discerning as he can describe his mother’s death without seeing how it happens.