Barn Burning : Loyalty Verses Conscience

1672 WordsOct 7, 20157 Pages
“Barn Burning”: Loyalty verses Conscience William Faulkner’s Barn Burning was published in the post-Civil War South, during the time of a system of agriculture/farming know as sharecropping – “a tenant farming system in which laborers live as tenants on a landowner’s property while providing labor to pay. Theoretically, this system was to benefit both the landowners and the laborers; nevertheless, sharecroppers usually end up at the end of the year caught in this web of endless cycle of debt. This exploitation of the poor working class who produces and yet do not profit nor share in the benefits of their labor. This creates class struggle, which is an indictment on the social conditions that contributed to it. A huge number of sharecroppers were freed slaves, with some few poor white men such as Abner Snopes, the antagonist of the ‘Barn Burning’, worked as one. This system profited the landowners to the detriment of the sharecropper (like Abner Snopes), which contributed to him been “at odds with the very notion of social order”(Bertonneau) hence the writer diction of describing Abner as a “wolf-like and ferocious” which rendered him a misfit in the society and vengeance through fear with burning as a means fitting in. The structure of the story is linear plot with a chronological order of unfolding events, narrated in the third-person with limited omniscience, which helps the reader to see into the mind of Sarty the protagonist like the sentences: “where the Justice

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