Both sides of the Coin in William Faulkner’s short story, Barn Burning

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William Faulkner’s short story, “Barn Burning,” the character Abner Snopes, who is Sarty’s father as well as a main character of the story, stands out the most compared to other characters because of Faulkner’s description with a sense of irony and critic. Faulkner presents multifaceted characteristics in Abner Snopes that makes the readers think beyond the view of the narrator based on logics and circumstances in Abner’s conditions. The setting of ‘‘Barn Burning’’ is the post-Civil War South, the South of Reconstruction, in which a defeated and in many ways humiliated society is trying to hold its own against the Northern victor. It still maintains in private the social hierarchy that characterized the region in its pre-war phase. By knowing the setting of the story, readers can actually understand the social condition at that period of time. In the story, Abner Snopes symbolizes a superiority figure. When Abner are in the court house with Sarty and Mr. Harris for suspecting Abe as Mr. Harris’s barn burner, he shows no fear at all as if he is not the criminal. He also “spoke for the first time, his voice cold and harsh, level, without emphasis: ‘I aim to. I don't figure to stay in a country among people who . . .’ he said something unprintable and vile, addressed to no one” (148). Further, when the judge calls Sarty to be a witness, Abner uses his right as superiority figure to control Sarty by coldly staring at Sarty because “[h]e aims for [Sarty] to lie, he thought,
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