The Creation of Abner Snopes in William Faulkner's Barn Burning

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The Creation of Abner Snopes in William Faulkner's Barn Burning

William Faulkner's "Barn Burning" is an intriguing story about a young boy named Colonel Sartoris's (Sarty) love and hatred for his father, Abner Snopes. Ab is a brutal and frightening man who instills fear into whom ever he seems to be close to. What is the cause of Abner Snopes's cruel-heartedness? Maybe it's his alienation from the higher class in society that causes him to act in this manner. When such a separation occurs in a community one can feel that he doesn't belong and because he does not belong that the only way the higher class will give him the time of day is if the person acts out and tries to prove that he doesn't need law and conventional society, much …show more content…

He had no traditional schooling and did not have the typical "urban setting" as a child. This "undeveloped mind" of his is what leads to his ignorance and insensitivity as an adult. If all you knew as a father was what you yourself thought to be the correct way to raise a family then it is inevitable what will become of that family. Obviously Ab Snopes was not raised according to tradition, he sets boundaries and rules for his children to abide by and yet he himself has no concept of a lifestyle controlled by someone else. The only laws Ab can abide by are the ones he has created himself, which is ironic since he doesn't always practice what he preaches. I look at it through a formalist point of view, if Ab had grown up having to obey the law of the land and new what it was to have a higher authority then he probably would not have been so rebellious towards those who were above him in his clan or community, particularly the wealthy. Since Ab seemingly was not raised in a structured environment he could have learned these unknown skills through education.

"Abners "wolflike independence" and conviction in the rightness

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