Faulkners specific style of writing is unique in a multitude of ways, and can be seen in his book, As I Lay Dying. Specifically in As I Lay Dying Faulkner is very ambiguous and leaves many aspects of the novel open to interpretation. It is difficult to gain a solid grasp on what he is attempting to portray to the reader, partly because he conveys information through the characters of the book, which tend to be biased sources. Therefore Faulkner leaves it up to the reader judge what is fact and what is opinion. This can clearly be seen in the question of Darls sanity. Throughout the book Darl is referred to as insane, but through deeper analysis of Faulkners use of irony, Darls actions, and Faulkners portrayal of Darls commitment it can be deduced that Darl is of sound mental health.
Darls ability to see the irony seen by the reader, but not by the other Bundren family members shows Darls greater grasp on the true reality of various situations. Faulkners use of irony is a key factor in the analysis of the book, and therefore must be taken into account in the question of Darls sanity. Faulkners use of irony is often humorous and Darls laughter is an obvious indicator. The laughter seems out of place to the other characters, but this is because they are unaware of the irony of the situation. Of all the characters Anse is most bothered by the laughter, which in itself is also ironic. As they begin the journey Anse says, We hadnt no more than passed Tulls lane when Darl begun to laugh. Setting back there on the plank seat with Cash, with his dead ma laying in her coffin at his feet, laughing (105). With Anse talking about respect for the dead, and all the other characters carrying on with their own secret priorities, Darl is the only one who sees the irony. In truth he is the one who shows the greatest respect for his dead mother.