Barn Burning: Abner Snopes Character Analysis Essay

1088 Words5 Pages
William Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning" describes a typical relationship between wealthy people and poor people during the Civil War. The main character, Abner Snopes, sharecrops to make a living for his family. He despises wealthy people. Out of resentment for wealthy people, he goes and burns their barns to get revenge. Abner's character over the course of the story is unchanging in that he is cold hearted, lawless, and violent.<br><br>First, Abner's unchanging character shows his cold heartedness. After being sentenced to leave the country for burning a man's barn, he shows no emotions to his family. During the story, there was not a time when he apologized or offered a word of encouragement to them. His tone of voice when talking…show more content…
Abner's act of breaking the law begins when he was supposed to be fighting in the Civil War, but instead he stole horses from both sides of the lines. When Abner returned home, he continued his act of breaking the law by committing arson. At the beginning of the story, Abner is in a makeshift courtroom where he is being tried for burning Mr. Harris' barn. There was no evidence to rule against Abner so he was advised to leave the country. "I aim to. I don't figure to stay in a country among people who…" (217). After sly remarks of "barn burner"(218) from a group of people standing near, Abner tells his family to get in the wagon and get ready for travel. Abner and his family traveled to their next house where things got off to a bad start. Just a few days had gone by and Abner took Major DeSpain to court claiming his fine was to high for the damage he did to his rug. The court ruled in DeSpain's favor fining him, "to the amount of ten bushels of corn over and above your contract with him, to be paid to him out of your crop at gathering time" (226), thus setting off Abner's anger. As a result he set out that night and put DeSpain's barn on fire. <br><br>Finally Abner's unchanging character is revealed not only in his role as
Open Document