Mental Illness Of Barn Burning Essay
For my thesis I am hoping to write about Barn burning. As I was reading this text I noticed that there is a lot of demonization of characters that may be unfair. Abner seems to be a purely evil person but if we see him in different lights we could argue the opposite. I would like to argue that he is simply a victim of his time in a period where mental illnesses were hidden and shamed, especially in poorer communities.
At the same time we must remember that mental health was not a big issue for government offices. People with debilitating conditions often were locked in an institution and treated in inhuman ways to keep the shame away from their families needing to take care of them. Nowadays we have a better understanding of how chemicals in your brain can affect your life but also how past experiences can have a long lasting effect on people futures attitudes. The debate of nature versus nurture also applies to this context, can someone be born inherently good and then change because of their environment? Are people inherently evil and then shaped by society to abide by their norms?
In this paper I will argue that the characters in Barn burning most likely suffered from a trauma related disorder and how their behavior could translate unto their children in the future. I will also attempt to explain how gender roles shape us and how being shamed for certain attitudes can have a long lasting effect on children and adults alike.