Barn Burning Marxism Analysis

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The Marxist approach to literature is often associated with labels and the act of exposing illusions or deceptions. This specific approach deals mainly with the many problems of socialism including the struggle of the social classes. It also deals with the dictatorship of the wealthier class over the poorer class. The lower-class suffers in a Marxist economic system because their life is basically controlled by whoever the high-class landowner is that they are working for during the time. In “Barn Burning,” the Marxist critical approach can be used to show the differences between social classes in the real world throughout the entire fictional short story through the wealthy Major de Spain who has power over the poor Snopes family.…show more content…
Because Snopes does not get paid a decent amount for what he does, he struggles to provide all of the needs for his large family. This specific situation is mostly what makes “Barn Burning” a Marxist reading. Major de Spain has slight control over the Snopes family just because he acquires more money than they do. The Snopes family does almost all of Major de Spain’s work on his land. Jolene Hubbs describes this as a “sweat economy,” or simply a system that acknowledges the works of the landowner that is actually the work of his/her workers. In other words, the Snopes family does the majority of the work on the land while Major de Spain receives all of the credit for work he did not do. In return for their work, the Snopes family receives little pay and a tiny one-room house to live in on Major de Spain’s land. Abner is not bringing in enough payment to support his family and they are all living in extreme poverty. This leads him to feeling vulnerable because Major de Spain is so much wealthier than he is and has total control over him. The Snopeses are a low-class family working for a rich white man. This is exactly what the Marxist theory is all about. The rich civilians having…show more content…
The Marxist approach can be seen in the real world just as it can in this fictional story. Marxism can in fact be seen after the early 1800’s when slavery was officially abolished. Most of the white men in the South basically owned other whites and blacks as slaves and received a majority of the money and credit for the work the hired laborers were doing. There were no other jobs being offered for the poor families, so they were forced to work for the rich, high-class people. This is undoubtedly the Marxist theory being portrayed in the real world just as it is in “Barn Burning.” This situation is similar to Abner and his family doing all of Major de Spain’s dirty work. It is unquestionable that in every state “class, race, and gender inequality victimizes large numbers of Americans” (Zender, “Criticism”). People are discriminated against all the time because they do not hold up to society’s standards. Exactly as Abner Snopes always feels threatened because he is a poor man working for various rich men. If someone is not a rich white man, they are automatically, without a doubt, going to be persecuted. The Marxist approach can also be seen in Faulkner’s “The Tall Men” because Lukacs believes that the tensions between capitalism will lead to a fight between the lower-class and the upper-class (Anshen).

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