Reading Response: Marxist Criticism

William Faulkner, the of a poetic story known as barn burning tends to demonstrate the role of the biblical Abner. The story illustrates a father who possesses the power to rule but in a fearful manner. However, the son depicts to use power as an initiative to help him get ahead and achieve all his desires. Faulkner tends to demonstrate that Marxist, which is political, social and economic principles, plays a significant role in the family of Abner Snopes.

According to Faulkner, some people tend to gain their wealth and social influence through immoral and inhumane acts. The author manages to illustrate this negative aspect by demonstrating that Abner Snopes who might originally be one of the Confederate army soldiers once became a thief. Sarty, who is Abner’s youngest son indicates that his father was also a member of Colonel Sartoris‘s Calvary (Fargnoli, Golay & Hamblin 57). Abner could steal horses from both military organizations of which he was a member and sell to whoever was capable of buying in order to gain more wealth. Faulkner also depicts that Abner Snopes could not cope well with people who managed to oppose him. The action of Abner burning down the barn of a weak and frightened heir known as Jody Varner demonstrates his inhumane acts. Abner also teaches his children that the authority is always an enemy to the people. This is significantly demonstrated when Sarty accompanies his father in the courtroom. Sarty is sure that his father is guilty by burning the neighbor’s barn, but he manages to defend him after understanding that his actions are because of poverty (Fargnoli, Golay & Hamblin 58).

Faulkner also demonstrates Major DeSpain as a man who acquired wealth in the wrong way. According to Faulkner, it is possible that deSpains acquired their wealth through the ownership of black slaves. The black slaves helped them in most of the work and they could merely earn anything from the work. This indicates that deSpains had a complete lack of respect for human dignity. In some instances, Major DeSpain as he is referred by Sarty manages to demonstrate his inhumane acts after Abner Snopes damages his rug (Fargnoli, Golay & Hamblin 58). He orders Mr. Snopes to pay twenty bushels of corn. This amount was extra of what Major DeSpain owed for the land. The punishment seems to be so unjust for a rug. Moreover, the punishment keeps Sarty’s family as slaves for a long period while working on Major Despain’s farm (Fargnoli, Golay & Hamblin 58). This is a clear illustration of inhumanity as indicated by the author.


Works Cited
Fargnoli Nicholas, Golay Michael & Hamblin Robert. Critical Companion to William Faulkner: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work. New York: Facts On File, 2008. Print.

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