William Faulkner’s short story “Barn Burning” describes a typical relationship between wealthy people and poor people during the Civil War.
The main character, Abner Snopes, sharecrops to make a living for his family. He despises wealthy people. Out of resentment for wealthy people, he burns their barns to get revenge. Abner’s character over the course of the story is unchanging in that he is cold hearted, lawless, and violent.
First, Abner’s unchanging character shows his cold heartedness. After being sentenced to leave the country for burning a man’s barn, he shows no emotions to his family. During the story, there was not a time when he apologized or offered a word of encouragement to them. His tone of voice when talking to them is bitter and bossy, and he never said thank you.
Later in the story after they had arrived at their next house, he orders his wife, her sister and his two daughters to unload the wagon. He walks with his son to DeSpain’s house where he entered without given permission, and proceeded to wipe his feet that was covered with horse manure, thus staining the rug. “Abner moves through life with no regard for his fellow humans and with no respect for their right to material possessions” (731). After being told to clean the rug, Abner took a rock and further ruined it.
His coldness is shown when he demands his two daughters to clean the rug in pots of lye and then hanging it to dry. Later in the evening Abner calls his son to get to retur...
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- William Faulkner’s short story “Barn Burning” describes a typical relationship between wealthy people and poor people during the Civil War. The main character, Abner Snopes, sharecrops to make a living for his family. He despises wealthy people. Out of resentment for wealthy people, he burns their barns to get revenge. Abner’s character over the course of the story is unchanging in that he is cold hearted, lawless, and violent. First, Abner’s unchanging character shows his cold heartedness. After being sentenced to leave the country for burning a man’s barn, he shows no emotions to his family.... [tags: Essays on Barn Burning]
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- Written as it was, at the ebb of the 1930s, a decade of social, economic, and cultural tumult, the decade of the Great Depression, William Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning" may be read and discussed in our classrooms as just that--a story of the '30s, for "Barn Burning" offers students insights into these years as they were lived by the nation and the South and captured by our artists. This story was first published in June of 1939 in Harper's Magazine and later awarded the 0. Henry Memorial Award for the best short story of the year.... [tags: Barn Burning Essays]
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