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As I Lay Dying
Moseley and MacGowan
Samson and Armstid
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Relation to family: youngest son of Anse and Addie
Age: roughly 6-10 years old
Feelings: is deeply confused over the situation of the death of Addie
Vardaman is the youngest child of the Vardaman family, and takes the role as the innocent and thoughtful kid that is slowly accustoming to his mother’s death. This development is occasionally brought up to remind the reader of his perspective. His wide imagination helps his make connections as the Bundren family goes along their quest to bury Addie.
As Vardaman is first introduced, the reader implies that he is a child due to his dialect. Vardaman first tells of how his mother is a fish, which shows that he is confused by the entire situation of his mother dying. This connection of a fish is used as a symbol throughout the novel. He makes the connection of his mother being a fish because once the fish is a dead, it is not a fish, and when his mother dies, and she is no longer his mother. As the novel progresses, Vardaman proves to show no change because he does extreme actions that are due to his confusion of what happened to his mother. Many readers may interpret Vardaman as very naïve, however he is extremely observant. He notices things that occur, and has to do something about them. He thinks that these choices are the intelligent thing to do; however they are not. He chooses to drill holes in the coffin, then later attack Peabody’s horses, and later goes missing but is later found fishing. Vardaman proves to be a static character, because throughout the entire novel he seems to have the same mindset, being deeply confused yet forcing him to make actions due to the death of his mother. Overall, Vardaman does not change his actions at all, meaning he is a static character, because he repeats his negative actions due to the confusion from the death of his mother, Addie.
Being six years old, Vardaman’s thoughts are difficult to decipher due to the fact that he may be stating exactly what he thinks as he narrates or just having a confused perspective while traumatized from his mother’s death. Vardaman’s constantly discussed interpretation of the fish he caught. He always talked about this fish comparison and his mother. What was the meaning behind this? Vardaman caught the fish and cut it up so it was a fish and then was not just like his mother was his mother then was not after her passing. So to Vardaman his mother was ideally a fish. One occurrence that not many readers realize is that Vardaman was the only one to blame his mother’s death on something else. As he pieced it together in his head, Peabody’s horses became the nuisance that changed his life and Vardaman being young new that his mother could not have just died, and that something made that happen so to him any change was not welcome.
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Vardamans relationship with his family members
Older brother of Vardaman. Doesn't seem to have a very close relationship due to the age difference.
Older brother, Vardaman shows that he trusts Darl and feels a sense of security. They share thoughts and Ideas on the death of their mother.
Vardaman's half brother. Disconnected and different from the whole family.
Older sister. Seems to spend the most time with Vardaman. Takes motherly role once Addie becomes sick.
Father, not very involved in properly raising and caring for his children, brushes off Vardaman.
Mother. Didn't want more than two children at the start, only had Dewey Dell and Vardaman to make up for her affair ending in Jewel.
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