Barn Burning: A Character Analysis Abner Snopes.
William Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning" describes a typical relationship between wealthy people and poor people during the Civil War. The main character, Abner Snopes, sharecrops to make a living for his family. He despises wealthy people. Out of resentment for wealthy people, he goes and burns their barns to get revenge. Abner's character over the course of the story is unchanging in that he is cold hearted, lawless, and violent.
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. . His cold, emotionless responses coupled with his tendancy for quick, savage blows left his family in a state of apprehensive anticipation. A good representation of this is Sarty's confrontation with his father after the hearing in the store. "Abner's voice [was] harsh like tin and without heat like tin. "You were fixing to tell them. You would have told him." Sarty didn't answer. Abner continued with a subtle threat. "You're getting to be a man. You got to learn. You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain't going to have any blood stick to you "(Faulkner 29). Later in the story after they had arrived at their next house, he orders his wife, her sister and his two daughters to unload the wagon. He walks with his son to DeSpain's house where he entered without given permission, and preceded to wipe his feet that were covered with horse manure, thus staining the rug. The response he receives, however, is not the one he is expecting, De Spain only wants him to clean the rug. . His coldness is shown when he demands his two daughters to clean the rug in pots of lye; with the bubbling wash-pot and the corrosive lye soap Abner's daughters began to scrub at the stains. Abner watches the progress and decides that the soap is not doing the level of destruction he desires.