Family Ties

833 Words4 Pages
The word “family” invokes many different emotions, on many different levels. Most of the time I think of the good times that I have had with my family. The reunions, vacations, holidays and just enjoying the company of my family. However, there are other sides of a family. It is naïve to think that you can spend so much time around family members, and not have disagreements, arguments, disputes, and sometimes even full-fledged physical altercations. On a similar level, sometimes personalities will conflict, making family members dislike each other. Sometimes people are just bad people, even if they are family, which are best left alone and avoided if at all possible. The story Barn Burning (339-49) takes us back in time to early America and the era known as the “Depression”, when many people lived desperate and hard lives. This type of life forged desperate and hard people, although proud. Some of these people were cruel and even dangerous. Abner Snopes was one of these people. He was a profiteer and an opportunist. He was also cold, cruel, and cowardly. Still his family stuck by him. They followed him from place to place after he was chased away, or driven out. His youngest son “Sorty” struggles with his mixed feelings of admiration and contempt for his father. Abner’s wife bends to his will with a broken spirit, and his older children are just as contemptuous as he. The Aunt seems to be the only decent member of the family, other than “Sorty”, who doesn’t agree with Abner’s cowardly actions. In the end Sorty can no longer stand by and quietly allow his father harm innocent people. He takes action against his father, and is ultimately responsible for his father’s demise. This story is rare in the aspect that it shows the darker... ... middle of paper ... ...nd daughter. However, in this story the mother still wants to be a part of her oldest daughter’s life. In the end the mother and daughter as basically still in the same situation that they began. These three stories combined show a plethora of emotions and conflicts that can, and do, arise in families. These complex situations are rarely portrayed in stories. They take us to the heavier side of the human spectrum. The darker side, where there isn’t always a happy ending, the grass isn’t always greener, and the light at the end of the tunnel is a train headed straight for you. Works Cited Roberts, Edgar V., and Zwieg, Robert, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. 10th ed. Illinois: Glenview, Pearson Education Inc. 2012. Print. Faulkner, William. “Barn Burning.” Roberts and Zwieg, 339-49 Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use.” Roberts and Zwieg, 6-13
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