Barn Burning: Abner Snopes character evaluation

William Faulkner’s brief story “Barn Burning” describes a standard relationship amongst wealthy persons and poor men and women in the course of the Civil War. The principal character, Abner Snopes, sharecrops to make a living for his family. He despises wealthy people. Out of resentment for wealthy men and women, he goes and burns their barns to get revenge. Abner’s character more than 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. Right after getting sentenced to leave the nation for burning a man’s barn, he shows no feelings to his family. For the duration of the story, there was not a time when he apologized or provided a word of encouragement to them. His tone of voice when talking to them is bitter and bossy, and he never ever stated thank you. Later in the story right after they had arrived at their next residence, he orders his wife, her sister and his two daughters to unload the wagon. He walks with his son to DeSpain’s residence exactly where he entered without the need of given permission, and proceeded to wipe his feet that was covered with horse manure, as a result staining the rug. “Abner moves through life with no regard for his fellow humans and with no respect for their ideal to material possessions” (731). Following getting told to clean the rug, Abner took a rock and additional 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 return the rug to DeSpain. When Abner returned to DeSpain’s home he threw the rug on the porch alternatively of knocking on the door and returning it to DeSpain appropriately. Abner was later charged for the damages he did to the rug. “This is adequate to satisfy Abner however again that the social technique only performs in behalf of the rich, and he sets out that evening to redress this wrong by burning DeSpain’s barn” (855).

Leave a Reply