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Seemingly, all of the children agree to travel to Jefferson in order to fulfill their mother’s wish.However, each family member—with the exception of Jewel—reveals his or her own reasons for going into town.Further, Addie admits that she wants to be buried in Jefferson because she wants to spend eternity as far away from the Bundrens as possible.
Although not directly, Dewey Dell reveals that she is pregnant and wants an abortion, and the youngest, Vardaman, wants a toy train.
While he does not have a materialistic desire, Darl travels to Jefferson in order to keep track of his family’s actions and to make sure his mother gets her burial.
Although the family seems to work together in its struggle to get Addie to Jefferson, each family member works to fulfill his or her own desires.
For instance, the Bundrens could have spent the evening at a neighbor’s home instead of dragging Addie’s coffin through the river.
Also, Cash reveals that he jumps into the river not only to rescue the coffin, but also to retrieve his carpentry tools.
Later, Anse sells Jewel’s beloved horse in order to buy a new team of mules.
For example, Anse admits that he wants a new set of teeth.
Cash wants to display his carpentry work and look for a gramophone.
However, Cash also believes that he is helping her more by building her coffin than he could if he were sitting with her inside of the house.
Surprisingly, Addie does not seem offended by her son building the coffin right in front of her.