Abner Snopes In Faulkner's Barn Burning

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Abner Snopes is seen in Faulkner's Barn Burning as the authoritative father figure of the cowed family of the Snopes. Through the story, the reader is introduced to and then familiarized with Abner's struggle with authority, and his attempt to impose such authority on his family. Abner Snopes, a cold, calculating man; throughout the story, the reader is told he acts “...without heat...” (Faulkner 3) In the world of writing, the character of the critical sociopath is one used readily by authors. Was Abner always this way? Faulkner divulges just the barest information of his past. “He had been a professional horse trader.” (Faulkner 9) In this age, a ‘professional horse trader’ was something similar to car salesmen. It is interesting to now…show more content…
Of the members, omitting Abner, only Sarty seems to even have a spark of personality to him. The others long since broken to the steely will of the father. In the story, Abner is seen to treat his family with little care --even though he also can be heard to tell Sarty that one's family is all that matters. A fierce double standard for sure. Among his many problems, it can be seen that he also has no qualms hitting his children as if they were the animals he drives if they don’t behave just as he expects them to. Even still, Sarty is shown to be oddly loyal in his own way with his father. While reluctant to go with much his father orders; and his father's ways, Sarty is seen to be fiercely loyal and adamant that the family will not pay any of the damages fees after destroying the rug. The sigh of Sarty’s fiery words can be seen to leave Abner with an out-of-place voice that hasn’t been heard before: “...The face absolutely calm, the grizzled eyebrows tangled above the cold eyes, the voice almost pleasant, almost gentle.” (Faulkner 8) Abner may not be completely frozen yet, the action of Sarty’s loyalty shows that it may very well have touched Abner; even if only…show more content…
However, in actuality, Abner errs more on the side of egoism. While both versions of consequentialism egoism operate on the belief that one must do what is in their best self-interest, Ethical egoism fits well with Abner’s mode of operations, his MO. His sense of justice is the only form of justice he can believe in and can be seen to even go as far as possible to justify this MO at any, and oftentimes every, expense of anyone else. There is an older saying “Die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain” Abner was born no hero, and in life showed no heroic prowess. And in death? He may very well have only ever been the

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