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The Barn Burning Blues Essay Research Paper

The Barn Burning Blues Essay, Research Paper

William Faulkner’s short story, “Barn Burning”, is about a family’s struggle created by

their father. the main character and father, Abner Snopes, is a self-ritous “no-good” who

supports his family by moving from barn to barn as a tenant. He is able to do this by setting fire

to the barn he tends to, and then leaving the city and finding another gullible, victim who needs

him to tend to their land. Faulkner describes Abner as rough-cut whit-trash who’s only

motivation seems to be other’s down falls.

The overall impression Faulkner wants the reader to get is that his character Abner feels

the whole world is against him. The hardships placed on him from the civil war fuel his self-

pitied attitude. In the Civil War, he became a horse thief and was shot in the back of the leg

running from the horse owners, leaving him broke and crippled.

Emotionally, the reader has a feeling of sorrow or pity for Abner and his family. His

crimes are committed as survival tactics and not attempts to become an outlaw entrapanuer.

But, at the same time you develope a hatred for Abner for bringing his family into his unstable,

unyeilding life style. It’s a typical “Jerry Springer” family struggle where the father brings

everyone down with him. Without a positive role-model, who’s to say that the rest of the family

isn’t going to turn out like him.

A crazy as their live may seem, the snopes family valuses are similar to those of a

healthy family. With all of the drama going on, the family seems to grow closer the phrase

“blood is thicker than water.” Faulkner even refers to this when he is talking to his son privatley

and says “stick to your blood cuz’ you ain’t gonna find any that sticks to you.” Everyone works

together in the household, the father farms, the son’s help, the mother cooks and cleans, the

girl’s help. It’s almost as if they don’t even consider their fathers actions as crimes, but as jobs.

Unfortuantely, present times, the Snopes aren’t such an odd family. But in post-Civil

War times, these people are considered white trash and outsiders. Williman Faulkner’s, “Barn

Burning” is a message about no matter how hard times get, never trade in your family, because

their the only ones who won’t trade you in.