The Moral Decay Of The Old South By William Faulkner Essay

The Moral Decay Of The Old South By William Faulkner Essay

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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 way it depicts the moral decay of the south, and focuses on a few events of the life of a share-cropper, is titled “Barn Burning”. The moral decay is apparent in the Irony, theme, and character development. Yet through flawed and infectious personality of the antagonist, the protagonist successfully escapes the otherwise inevitable family association.
As an Assistant English Professor at the Central Michigan University and Senior Policy Analyst at Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Thomas Bertonneau provided an interesting critical analysis for William Faulkner’s short story “Barn Burning”. 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 clear...

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... his family or choosing justice. Because he was in a moral dilemma, his character began to develop. By the end of the story he has made his choice when he goes to warn DeSpain. After that choice he cant go back and morally he is better because of it.
Between the irony, themes, and the characters development of this story, “Barn Burning” is an incredible narrative displaying the changes that the south was experiencing in this time. Anna Priddy says “In writing about Faulkner, it is best not to disentangle what he so richly weaves together.”(Priddy, Anna.) Fualkners writings are quite incredible in the way they depict the moral decay of the south. The way Faulkner writes is meant to immerse the reader in the normal life of the old south. Like Anna Priddy says, we should not try to unwind the words and ideas that Faulkner had a gift for so perfectly pricing together.

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