Barn Burning by William Faulkner was written in the ebb of the 1930s in a decade of social, economic, and cultural decline. This story offers insight into the past years for students to learn of the nation and the South. This story shows the racial segregation that took place in these times between the white landowners and white tenant farmers, the blacks and the whites, and the poor white trash The Snopess family was in the social class of the poor, white tenant farmers. The father, Abner Snopes, had to struggle to provide for his family. In the family there were the mother and her sister, two daughters, and two sons.
The older son, Flem, worked with Abner, and the younger son, Sarty, helped with the chores. Sarty, along with others, had trouble understanding his fathers way of life and his attitude towards society. Abner was a harsh man. His crusade as a sharecropper exploited his inner feelings of resentment towards the landowners. Having little or no patience with each new situation, he resorted to the only thing that he was diligently, effectively good at, burning barns. His insensitivity to his family, landowners, their families, and especially the blacks depicted him as a menace to society.
Pictured as poor, white trash, Abners truggle to be better than the nigger race was a never- ending battle, always ending in defeat. He invariably resorted to retrieving some sort of satisfaction by destroying wealthy landowners property, barns. Abners inability to rise above the label of poor, white trash led to his demise as a functional part of society. He used the barn burnings as a way of getting back at society for suppressing him. He felt that people owed him and when he did not receive, he resorted to destructive measures. He felt that the tactics he employed were the only real way to deal with the problem at hand.
Another side of Abner tends o go deeper than what appears on the surface. Although we are not told in the story precisely why he burns barns, the real reason may be deeper, or should we say internal. This reason never foretold probably came out of his early childhood. His parents and other sharecroppers homes may have been destroyed by fire, therefore, leaving a psychopathic desire to get even with society. Through this deep-rooted psychopathic behavior, Abner incorporates barn burning into every situation that he has difficulty The reader is intended to see Abner as only a surface character, but internally, he is rather complex.
You never now what little things other than the obvious will set him off. He has many conflicts going on at the same time. His physical conflicts, those with landowners, and family members, are very open to the reader. His internal conflicts are intimated through actions and deeds performed by him. He is true to his character because the end result is always the same, even at the end when it costs him his life. Abner felt he was justified in burning barns, not only to relieve the internal pressure, but also to get even for all the things that had gone wrong in his life. He felt he was giving back to society what society had dealt to him.