Essay on Analysis Of ' Barn Burning ' By William Faulkner
24 February 2016
Marxism in “Barn Burning”
In June 1939, William Faulkner wrote the short story, “Barn Burning,” about a young boy dealing with classism in the South. He was exposed to economic discrimination, which brought family division. The Snopes family lived in poverty, had no permanent home, and was not educated in their speech. They have had no real prospects for economic improvements, and they moved around a great deal. In order to fully understand this story we must examine the deep meaning within it, and thoughts of the author when writing it. The great America novelist William Faulkner often wrote about the struggles of the South that he was familiar with. He wrote of the same characters in the same fictional town in a small area of Mississippi, which was much like Oxford, Mississippi where he lived most of his life. Faulkner was born into a middle class family and led a comfortable life. George Van Devender suggests “His attitude toward the American South combines regional pride with shame at offenses past and present” (Van Devender). Although Faulkner may not have lived with the poverty and despair of his characters, he had witnessed it and lived it through the people in his surroundings.
An explanation for the classism experienced in “Barn Burning” is found in Marxist Criticism. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel wrote many articles together in the late 1800’s and discussed themes of political, social, economic, and…