Barn Burning Essay

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A father is a figure typically known for his power to protect and the desire to love his family. However, this is not the case in “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner. Abner Snopes sharecrops to make a living for his family. He despises wealthy people. Out of resentment for wealthy people, he commits crimes in order to create chaos against his victims. His deeds force his family to move constantly. William Faulkner characterizes Abner by his cold-hearted actions, and his unchanging personality, to help us as students better understand this antagonist. William Faulkner characterizes Abner Snopes as an unemotional, evil character. His cold-hearted actions leave him and his family no choice but to move around constantly. In the very beginning of the story, Abner burns down Mr. Harris’ barn for revenge. This occurred after Abner allowed his hog to get into Mr. Harris’ corn for the third time. Another example of his vengeful attitude occurs when Abner enters the home of Major de Spain. “He examined the house with brief deliberation. Then with the same deliberation he turned; the boy watched him pivot on the food leg and was the stiff foot drag around the arc of the turning, leaving a final long and fading smear (519).” This quotation shows his hatred toward the wealthy. Abner examines the house and sees its perfection for a final time. He takes his revenge upon Major de Spain’s success by leaving a mark on the rug from the manure on his shoe. The final example of his vengefulness is the strongest. Because Major de Spain is to receive ten bushels of corn for the damage done to his rug, Abner attempts to burn down his barn as well. “Go get that oil,” his father said. “Go (524).” This quote shows how Abner intended to burn down Major de Spain’s barn as revenge for being forced to pay him ten bushels of corn. Abner is completely unfeeling in his actions. His tone of voice

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