Killings" vs. "Barn Burning

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After reading “Killings” by Andre Dubus, it is very clear that the main character, Matt Fowler shares many similarities and differences with Abner Snopes of “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner. Both Abner and Matt are father figures who seek revenge in order to feel at ease, but their thoughtless actions affect both their families and themselves.

In both” Killings” and “Barn Burning”, revenge is used by both Matt Fowler and Abner Snopes to cheat the justice system. Matt Fowlers youngest son Frank was murdered by a man named Richard Strout. Due to the fact Matt did not believe justice would have his side, he killed Strout with hopes that his family would be able to rest easy knowing they won’t have to see Strout anymore. As a result, Matt began to feel the guilt for Strouts family and realizes there are going to be consequences for the murder he committed. Matt Fowlers revenge resulted from a buildup of anger and various emotions and the desire to protect his family. As for Abner Snopes, revenge is a result of jealousy of the wealthy. “Barn Burning” takes place at a much earlier time then “Killings” where class status was a big deal and people would do anything in order to support their families because they had to. Abner has a family and knows he has to support them in order to live but his despise for the wealthy and what he doesn’t have causes him to act out

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unlawfully by burning their barns. Like Matt Fowler, Abner does not think of the consequences he will have to face because of acting out unlawfully and violently. Throughout the story “Barn Burning” there is much evidence that supports Abners hateful actions and the lies he tells the judge when he gets caught. In the end, Abners planned action of burning Major De Spain’s barn is crushed by his son Sarty who realizes he can no longer lie for his father and warns De Spain of his father’s intensions. The reader is lead to believe that in the end Major De Spain kills Abner...
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