Barn Burning

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

The Differences between Abner and Sarty In the short story "Barn Burning", William Faulkner tells the story about the conditions of the wealthy and the poor working class during the Civil War reconstruction. Times are hard and conditions are not improving for the future. William Faulkner uses the themes of oppression in the story of the Snopes family. The Snopes family is poor white tenant farmers. Among the Snopes family, is Abner Snopes and his son Colonel Sartoris Snopes, "Sarty". Although Abner and Sarty are father and son, they differ in the ways they view the world.

First, the antagonist in "Barn Burning" is Abner Snopes. Abner, a poor oppressed tenant farmer, has a negative view of the world. His destructiveness and emotional instability cause his unacceptable behavior throughout the story. Consequently, his family moves many times because of his unacceptable behavior of burning different landowner's barns anywhere he lives.

In fact, his unacceptable behavior is seen in his rebellion. Abner is rebellious because he feels oppressed by the southern aristocrats. One example of his rebellion is when he smears manure on the de Spain's French rug. Another example of his rebellion is also seen when Abner burns the landowner's barns. Furthermore, Abner perceives the de Spain mansion and barn as the Southern aristocracy's oppression for him and other poor people. He believes that he is a slave to the upper class. Consequently, he detests anyone of a higher stature. During the Civil War, Abner is not loyal to the North or the South. He steals horses from both sides to get revenge on each side since they did nothing to help the poor farmers like Snopes. Therefore, Abner is only loyal to his family because he feels that they are an extension of...