Justice In Faulkner's Barn Burning

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The way modern civilization understands justice is predominantly based on the Greek image of Lady Justice. In the traditional iconography, she was often depicted as a blindfolded woman holding scales in one hand and the sword in the other. Justice should be blind to all kinds of personal biases and prejudices; therefore, the status of the person must not make any difference to the judge. There is nothing that can be called justice in Faulkner’s Barn Burning. The decision of the judge in the second trial is made after the guilt of Abner was proven. On the contrary, no justice was served as the sentence was softened due to the poor financial status of the defendant, it cannot be called fair as it is made on the basis of biased ideas of the…show more content…
It all began when Abner decided have a few words to the person who owned “body and soul for the next eight months” (Faulkner 185). On his way to Major de Spain’s home, Abner stepped into manure, and taking into account the observations made by Colonel Sartoris Snopes, Abner’s son, he did it on purpose as the narrator says that “father could have avoided by a simple change of stride” (186). As Abner enters the Major de Spain door; the nergo butler asked Abner to "Wipe yo foots, white man, fo you come in here. Major ain't home nohow" (186). Abner pushes the butler aside and deliberately smeared the manure over the rug with his stiff foot. Abner is discounting his destructive behavior that he had ruined the rug by “never looked at it, he never once looked down at the rug”(187). Mr. de Spain realized the damage done during Abner’s visit so he sent the rug to the Snopes’s for cleaning. Abner with his destructive behavior, refuses to clean the rug properly and washes it in “lye” with a “field stone” (188). At the court, Major de Spain asks “twenty bushels of corn” (189) to be subtracted from Abner’s earnings. Clearly Major de Spain was justified in his request due to Abner’s

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