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Barn Burning2

Throughout the story Barn Burning, author William Faulkner conveys the moral growth and development of a young boy, as he must make a critical decision between either choosing his family and their teachings or his own morals and values. The reader should realize that the story Barn Burning was written in the 1930s, a time of economic, social, and cultural turmoil. Faulkner carries these themes of despair into the story of the Snopes family.Faulkner opens the story, Barn Burning in a southern courthouse room of the during the Civil War reconstruction era, also a time of social, cultural, and economic instability. At this point in the story the main characters, Abner (Ab) and his son, Colonel Sartoris Snopes (Sarty) are introduced. Ab is on trial for the malicious burning of a barn that was owned by a wealthy local farmer. For Sartys entire life he and his family had been living in poverty. His father, who had always been jealous of the good life, takes his frustrations out against the post-Civil war aristocracy by burning the barns of wealthy farmers. As most fathers do, Ab makes the attempt to pass his traits and beliefs on to his son, whom does not necessarily agree nor fully understand his fathers standpoint. The following passage is an example of how Sarty is taught that both legal justice and wealth is the enemy of his family: He could not see the table where the Justice sat and before which his father and his fathers enemy (our enemy he thought in that despair; ourn! Mine and hisn both! Hes my father!) stood, but he could not hear them, the two of them that is, because his father had said no word yet. (Meyer, 481)After the Justice had declared that there was not a substantial amount of evidence to convict Ab Snopes of the crime, he ordered the family to move out of town. The reader may assume that during the multi-day trip to the familys new home, Sarty had a chance to reflect on the values of his father. Even at such ...

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