William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning” is a classic story of clannishness and family loyalty.
In the short story, family patriarch Abner Snopes leads his family on a taxing life of frequent traveling.
First, Abner’s unchanging character shows his cold heartedness.
After being sentenced to leave the country for burning a man’s barn, he shows no emotions to his family.
One way to view Abner Snopes’ character is as a man who simply represents anger and destruction.
It can be assumed that Abner’s anger stems from the time of the Civil War, when he is not fighting for the Union or the Confederates forces but instead stealing horses from both sides to sell for money.During the story, there was not a time when he apologized or offered a word of encouragement to them.His tone of voice when talking to them is bitter and bossy, and he never said thank you.When Snopes bursts in and damages the rug, he calls the servant a racist epithet, viewing his presence as a mere extension of the slavery that dominated the South until the Civil War.William Faulkner’s short story “Barn Burning” describes a typical relationship between wealthy people and poor people during the Civil War.Snopes’s unpredictable nature unsettles de Spain, and he uneasily answers Snopes’s charges in court. Harris - A landowner for whom the Snopeses were short-term tenants.The plaintiff in the first court case, Harris had attempted to resolve the conflict over the Snopeses’ hog.Colonel Sartoris Snopes (Sarty) - A ten-year-old boy and the story’s protagonist.Small and wiry, with wild, gray eyes and uncombed brown hair, Sartoris wears patched and faded jeans that are too small for him.He has inherited his innocence and morality from his mother, but his father’s influence has made Sartoris old beyond his years.He is forced to confront an ethical quandary that pits his loyalty to his family against the higher concepts of justice and morality.