Faulkner Burning Barn Text

Faulkner Burning Barn Text-79
“Barn Burning” is a sad story because it very clearly shows the classical struggle between the “privileged” and the “underprivileged” classes.Time after time emotions of despair surface from both the protagonist and the antagonist involved in the story.

“Barn Burning” is a sad story because it very clearly shows the classical struggle between the “privileged” and the “underprivileged” classes.Time after time emotions of despair surface from both the protagonist and the antagonist involved in the story.

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This blog series, Big Picture, Small Picture, provides a contextual collage for a chosen piece of literature.

The information here is culled from newspapers, newsreels, periodicals, and other primary sources from the date of the text’s original publication.

This story outlines two distinct protagonists and two distinct antagonists.

The first two are Colonel Sartoris Snopes (“Sarty”) and his father Abner Snopes (“Ab”).

Sarty is the protagonist surrounded by his father antagonism whereas Ab is the protagonist antagonized by the social structure and the struggle that is imposed on him and his family.

The economic status of the main characters is poor, without hope of improving their condition, and at the mercy of a quasi-feudal system in North America during the late 1800’s.Nutrition is lacking “He could smell the coffee from the room where they would presently eat the cold food remaining from the mid-afternoon meal” (PARA. As a consequence, poor health combined with inadequate opportunity results in low morale.A morale which the writer is identifying with the middle class of his times “that same quality which in later years would cause his descendants to over-run the engine before putting a motor car into motion” (PARA.Being a sharecropper, Ab and his family had to share half or two-thirds of the harvest with the landowner and out of their share pay for the necessities of life.As a result of this status, Ab and his family know from the start what the future will hold — hard work for their landlord and mere survival for them.That June, William Faulkner’s short story “Barn Burning” is published in , marking the first appearance of the fictional Snopes family of Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi.Thirty years after the Civil War, Abner Snopes, an embittered tenant farmer, moves his family from town to town in the New South, working the land until his incendiary pride compels him to lash out at the wealthy landowners who employ him.20)The Snope family manages to survive and find work.However, the work offers little other than a chance for survival “I reckon I’ll have a word with the man that aims to begin tomorrow owning me body and soul for the next eight months” (PARA 40). Due to seasons and crop rotation, in order to secure work they had to reserve land with different landowners.Ab’s constant rebellion is displayed by a rough, sour character and exemplified when he burns his landlord’s barn down. Sarty’s dilemma and Ab’s frustrations continually grab the reader, serving up a series of emotionally laden dilemmas: Given the circumstances of the story, is Ab’s barn burning justified?He feels despair and loss, and inflicts damage to whomever he happens to be working for. Should Sarty tell the landlord that Ab was responsible for burning down the barn?

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