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    William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning” Essay

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    In William Faulkner’s ” Barn Burning” one of the main characters, the antagonist, is Abner Snopes. He is rather static. He is faced with having to provide a life for his family as a sharecropper. This simple living is the cause of all the problems that have arisen. From staying out of jail, trying to teach his youngest son, and delivering his form of justice to those he feels have wronged him. Abner Snopes is not a bad or cruel person by his standards. He is simply a person of fortune, he also knows no other way to act.

    Abner Snopes” strengths and weakness as a person are very admirable when placed in to mind that this person is one that was poorly educated, if at all. And for the most part is following the example set fourth by his father. One strength that is evident is his self-preservation drive. He is constantly trying to preserve himself and his family although one method that he at times chooses to use are illegal and wrong. He is trying to make a living at whatever cost. This particular strength is shown in two places.

    His strength to do whatever it takes to live is the example of him running horses during the civil war for both the Union and Confederate armies. An example to show his self-preservation would be when he moves his family to another farm to work, and thus removing himself and family from danger. His strengths are strong but do not outweigh his weaknesses. All of his weaknesses can be summed up in being poorly educated and a product of his environment and following by example. As the story progresses Abner being poorly educated is shown by his inability to deal with conflict and resolve them in a civil manner.

    This is shown by Abner having to go to trail due to his barn burning tendencies. Also his method in dealing with the rug that he soiled with horse manure. Although no mention of Abner” father is in the story a presumption could be made by comparing Abner” eldest son, he helps his father set the fires to act out against those that have wronged him. The presumption could be then made through deductive reasoning that Abner Snopes himself did the same with his father as a child. Abner Snopes the entire story remains static his has no change or growth. He remains ignorant or the way in which to live civil by.

    Abner Snopes is a character that must be looked into deeply before jumping to a conclusion that all he does continually whish is wrong. Yes is it wrong but this person knows no better. He is trying to survive and live a life that was shown to him by his father, a life in which family comes before all others and above the law. He is trying to show his children this. Although misguided, a good job. He knows no better. Abner is this way because his is a product of his environment and of example. Abner is not a person that initiative to change he is simply ignorant and stubborn. He chooses not to change.

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    William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning” Essay. (2018, Mar 02). Retrieved from

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