Vardaman Bundren

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Vardaman Bundren by Mind Map: Vardaman Bundren

1. Imagination

1.1. Vardaman's imagination could best be described as active. There is no other character that develops his own thought through the use of an image than Vardaman. The greatest example of his imagination is his development of the idea that his mother is a fish. He states that, "It was not here. I was there, looking. I saw. I thought it was her, but it was not. It was not my mother….It was not here because it was laying right yonder in the dirt. And now it’s all chopped up. I chopped it up. It’s laying in the kitchen in the bleeding pan, waiting to be cooked and et.” (Pages 66-67) His obsession with "is" and "was" along with the concept of his mother being a fish, Vardaman demonstrates the imagery that circles in his head. It is a personal way for him to understand and filter ideas, concepts, and objects through his head in a away that he can understand. There is a feeling of power that comes with imagination, considering it is so infinite, and for Vardaman, this is his greatest power.

2. Age

2.1. Innocence

2.1.1. Vardaman is introduced as the youngest Bundren. We meet him in his first chapter and initially we are able to make assumptions that he has a young brain and/or is uneducated. Throughout the book his dialogue and thought process is basic level and imaginative. The journey of Addie's death and the journey to Jefferson is a whole new experience for Vardaman, unlike his older family members who have had exposure to the outside world.

3. Journey/Experience

3.1. "I hollering catch her darl catch her darl because in the water she could go faster than a man and Darl had to grabble for her so I knew he could catch her because he is the best grabble even with the mules in the way..." (Page 150-151)

3.1.1. Vardaman's experiencing the river crossing from the shore, doing the best he can with vocal encouragement. His positive outlook on the journey to Jefferson reflects his innocent and inexperienced exposure to a high stress situation. He lives in a traumatized world at such a young age but it doesn't seem to influence his outlook on life.

4. Fish

4.1. "My mother is a fish." (Page 84)

4.1.1. Vardaman interprets his mother as a fish. He believes that this is the case because she has physical and mental aspects that reflect the fish he caught, weak and close to death. Vardaman then decides that she is not a fish after-all. His thought process is due to his overarching misunderstanding of the complex matters of death and existence.

5. Family

5.1. "Well, I reckon I aint no call to expect no more of him than of his man-growed brothers." (Page 38)

5.1.1. Anse is discussing Vardaman's physical presentation, bloody and dirty (a messy and disorganized manner) from chopping the fish. He compares Vardaman to his brothers, acting as if its obvious he shouldnt expect a clean and put together child. He expresses his frustration to Vardaman, telling him he needs to get himself together, using harsh tones, and stating that "he cant seem to get no heart into it." (Page 38)