“I said if you’d just let her alone. Sawing and knocking, and keeping the air always moving so fast on her face that when you’re tired you cant breathe it, and that goddamn adze going One lick less. One lick less. One lick less until everybody that passes in the road will have to stop and see it and say what a fine carpenter he is. If it had just been me when Cash fell off that church and if it had just been me when pa laid sick with that load of wood fell on him, it would not be happening with every bastard in the country coming in to stare at her because if there is a God what the hell is He for. It would just be me and her on a high hill and me rolling the rocks down the hill at their faces picking them up and throwing them down the hill faces and teeth and all by God until she was quiet and not that goddamn adze going One lick less. One lick less and we could be quiet.”
William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, The Modern Library Editions, 2000
Notes: Jewel cares about Addie as she is now, not only concerned with her death. Everyone seems to be preoccupied with their own duties (Cash making the coffin) that they are neglecting Addie. Jewel seems a bit isolated from everyone else, he wants to be alone with his mother. Sign of desire for maternal love?