Abner Snopes: Cold Authority Essay

919 Words Apr 26th, 2005 4 Pages
In "Barn Burning," Abner is described as stiff, wolf-like, and without heat because of his coldness and bitterness toward society in which he was part of during the time of the War Between the States. The main character is Abner Snopes who sharecrops to make a living for his family; in his story, Faulkner describes a typical relationship between wealthy people and poor people during that particular time.

When described as stiff, we see Abner's abruptness and coldness towards his family as well as others in his community. Abner's authoritative figure makes his coldness more threatening and his patriarchal figure puts more force into his coldness. Faulkner portrays him as wolf-like and without heat as well; this description shows us
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Abner forced his way into the DeSpain's mansion and dirties their rug with his manure-ridden boots. After Abner dirtied the DeSpain rug, he was told to clean it. Instead of cleaning the rug, Abner further dirtied it with a rock which further ruined the rug. His coldness also came to play when he demanded that his daughters clean the rug in pots of lye and then hang up the rug so that it can dry. Later, Abner was charged with the damages he did to the DeSpain's rug. The evidence of this event proved to Abner that the social system of society only works in behalf of the wealthy. This evidence is supported in the social system of Capitalism we see today. "Under this system, the means for producing and distributing goods (the land, factories, technology, transport system, etc.) are owned by a small minority of people, the rich and the wealthy." (What is Capitalism?--worldsocialism.org) These groups of people as we know it are part of the capitalist class. In knowing this kind of evidence, Abner sets out in the night to burn the DeSpain's barn.

Abner's cold character is proved further in being lawless or that he has no regard whatsoever to the law. Abner's act of breaking the law can be seen during the Civil War—instead of fighting in the war, Abner steals horses from both sides. Another act of law-breaking was when Abner committed arson—the burning of DeSpain's barn. A couple of days later after Abner and his family settled in the DeSpain's mansion,

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