Critical Analysis Of Barn Burning By William Faulkner

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In 1939 a great American author, named William Faulkner, published a series of short stories about a fictional southern county that he used in many stories to depict the life style of the old south. The Biographical information provided by the Nobel Prize website said that the fictional county was very similar to his home town in Lafayette county, Mississippi (William Faulkner - Biographical). Faulkner wrote several short stories and novels which all contributed to this imaginary Yoknapatawpha county, Mississippi. Mrs.Weiskel Says that ”Entering the fictional world of William Faulkner is like stepping into the vast and majestic Mississippi wilderness he wrote about.”(Weiskel) One short story that is particularly interesting, because of the…show more content…
Through his analysis and critique he writes about three major ideas that are evident in the short story. First the enormous ego and great amount of unearned pride that Abner Snoops feels. The second is the fact that Abner Snoops has great disapproval of social order. The third is the dilemma that Snarty Snoops is in due to his fathers beliefs. The Ego that Bertonneau accuses Abner Snoops of having is clearly evident in the opening scene of the story. They are in the court room and Abner does not say anything till the end of the trial when he is addressed by the Justice Of the Peace. At which point it is suggested to him to leave the county, and he replies “‘I aim to. I don’t figure to stay in a county among people who . . .’ he said something unprintable and vile, addressed to no one.”(“Barn Burning.”) He said the worlds “I aim to” in a way to suggest that he had already made up his mind. Also to assure those around him that he would not do anything that was recommended by someone with great authority. While this quote displays his ego as well as his pride, it also demonstrates his obvious cowardly ways. Abner Snoops “said something unprintable and vile, addressed to no one” which was meant to be for the Justice of the Peace because…show more content…
The marian webster online dictionary defines theme as “a particular subject or issue that is discussed often or repeatedly.”(Marriam-Webster) The theme of anger surfaces several times through out the story. It seems to be in the hearts of all of the men in the story. Mr. Harris, DeSpain, and Abner, were at some point in the story enraged. Mr.Harris was angry when his case against Abner was dismissed. DeSpain became angry when he learned of the barn burning in progress. Abner is enraged when he was accused of being a barn burner. The anger that these men was either justified or it was unjustified. The anger that Mr.Harris and De Spain displayed was justified while Abners was by no means justified. An even more important theme is that of loyalty. The theme of loyalty was used as a challenge for the Snarty. Through out the story he had a choice to either follow in his fathers footsteps of to create a new path for his future. By the end of the story he had made the decision to become his own person and follow the path of morality. The theme of morality is the driving force behind Snartys decisions. If Snarty had not been morally convicted by his conscience, then more people would have lost their property and and Abner would have continued to be a despicable human. The moral decisions that smarty had to face were a huge part of his character
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