Barn Burning: An Analysis
In the story, Barn Burning, Faulkner displays class distinction in many different ways. Between the properties compared of de Spain and Abner, and the differences of their etiquette. Faulkner illustrates class distinction through the horse and the mule, through characterization of Abner and de Spain, and the issues that Abner has with people that have a lot of money to expose class distinction.
There are a few ways in which class distinction is shown in the story, one of which being the horse and the mule. The mule, owned by Abner, is a very cheap alternative to a horse. The symbol of the horse and the mule is showing the difference of money in each family. With Abner always having to move due to his actions towards other, he is never able to make enough money to buy an actual horse, having to settle with a cheap mule to pull all of his family’s belongings.
Another way that class distinction is shown in Barn Burning is Abner’s issues with families having a massive amount of money. Abner believes that people who don’t earn their money themselves have forgotten what their ancestors went through to make that money. Also, Abner dislikes that de Spain hasn’t worked himself to get his money, instead using slaves and sharecropping to make money for things such as his rug and horses.
The characterization differences of Abner and de Spain also show class distinction in this short story. Faulkner doesn’t describe any facial features of Abners face, showing him as a dark, malevolent being. In de Spain’s case, however, Faulkner describes him in practically full detail, with his face and clothing. Also, he describes de Spain’s home, showing all the expensive items he owns.
Class distinction is fairly obvious in Barn Burning. With Abner being jealous and getting revenge on those of a higher class than him, and never paying the fines that someone else would. Taking revenge by burning down the barns of those who have not “earned” their...