“”But my mother is a fish.” ‘”Jewel’s mother is a horse,’ Darl said.” “Because if I had one, it is was. And if it is was, it can’t be is.” “Are is too many for one woman to foal.” Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. New York: Vintage International, 1990. Print. (101)
‘”Jewel,” ma said, looking at him. “I’ll give- I’ll give-give-” Then she began to cry. (135)
I’m still trying to figure this out. Vardaman is trying to understand his mother’s death and equates it to the fish he had caught and cleaned, death, blood. He cannot eat the cooked fish. Jewel’s mother covers for him when he works nights to earn money to buy himself a horse ~ his possession, his freedom, distance from his father. Darl ponders is, are, was. What IS your ma? She no longer is ~ she was.
So far their have not been many glimpses of the mother alive so the story about how she covers for Jewel is remarkable. I found her words “I give” to be especially sad and an excellent description of her role as mother to this poor family.