Essay on Analysis Of ' Barn Burning ' By William Faulkner

Essay on Analysis Of ' Barn Burning ' By William Faulkner

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In the short story “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner, there are two major characters, Sarty who is the narrator and the protagonist, and Abner who is also his father and the antagonist. Abner Snopes is a poor man, with nothing of value, he is a serial arsonist and is known for his fierce wolf-like independence personality which is feared by his family including Sarty, Abner feel he must lash out at the world out of spite and if he been wronged in anyway regardless his fault he will retaliate through arson. This essay will focus on how social class strongly shape and influences Abner choices and actions.
Abner Snopes is the patriarch of the Snopes family, a man with a stiff body and a limp leg trying to steal a Confederate horse, yet he embodies a destructive personality that Sarty compares to a wasp “he no more to them than a buzzing wasp: capable of stinging for a moment but that’s all” (Faulkner 191). Unlike his employer or former neighbor, Snopes owns nothing, only some broken possessions including furniture, a wagon and two mules. Snopes and his family work as sharecroppers, workers that tend to a field belonging to the landowner, paying in rent through the crops they harvest. Snopes live an unfortunate and unhappy life, a limp leg from the Civil War, barely providing for himself and family, making him envious and hateful, thus giving Abner a rotten personality to simply befoul or antagonize anyone, when trying to meet his new employer Major de Spain, Snopes purposely step on horse dropping to defile de Spain house even going out of his way to ruin an expensive rug by dragging his limp leg all over the rug, Snopes didn’t care about the servant or housewife warning or reactions possibly secretly enjoying his actions of upsetti...


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In conclusion, the antagonist of “Barn Burning” is Abner Snopes the patriarch of the Snopes family who rule over them like a silent tyrant, a man with a stiff body and a limp leg from the civil war, he harbor a wolf-like independence and anger that intimidate people around him, even his family. The Snopes own nothing, working as sharecroppers from town to town barely providing for themselves. Abners has a rotten personality, possibly envious and hateful of the people around them, he goes out of his way to purposefully make their lives difficult, examples include allowing his hog to break into his neighbor 's cornfield multiple time or purposely dragging horse dropping on to his new landowner rug, the only conclusion anyone can think of Abner for reasoning for these actions is just pure spite.
Work Cited
Faulkner, William. “Barn Burning.” Harper’s. June 1939

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