Abner Snopes in "Barn Burning"

Topics: Barn Burning, William Faulkner, Confederate States Army Pages: 3 (1037 words) Published: February 18, 2013
Abner Snopes in “Barn Burning”
The story “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner focuses on the impact Abner Snope’s behavior has towards his family and to multiple farm owners. Abner Snopes tries to make a living by crop sharing, and out of the resentment of wealthy farm owners he burns down their barns. As a result, Abner blames society for his actions and feels free to disobey common laws. Abner’s actions indicate him to be a thoughtless force of violence, cold-hearted, and lawless man.

Abner shows his family and farm owners multiple thoughtless actions of violence. In the beginning of the story, Abner and his son Sarty are being questioned about Mr. Harris’s barn being burned down. Sarty is questioned by the Justice and Mr. Harris, but is afraid to answer due to the fear of his father. Abner questions his son of speaking the truth, “You were fixing to tell them. You would have told him” (171). Abner smacks the side of his son’s head and says, “You’re getting to be a man. You got to learn” (171). Abner’s form of discipline is abusive and physical. Abner has resentment towards Mr. De Spain because he is wealthy. So, Abner destroys the De Spain’s rug by purposely scrubbing the rug with a rock. Also, burns down the De Spain’s barn. According to Jayne Belike, Nancy Brooks, and Benjamin Welsh say “As a result, he seethed with bitterness and rage, like a wild animal caught in a cage, lashing out at others with violence and blame” (38+). Abner is an uncontrolled man with hate for others.

Abner Snopes is cold-hearted and shows no emotion in his choices. Abner loads up the wagon with his family and shows no emotion, empathy, or remorse to anyone after they are ordered to leave and move again. Abner does not show any emotion or passion to his wife. Abner believes his wife is there to cook, clean, and tend to all of the family needs. Abner and his family arrive to their new farm home. Abner orders his wife, her sister, and his two daughters to...
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