Marxism Ideas In Barn Burning By William Faulkner

June 7, 2021 by Essay Writer

William Faulkner’s story “Barn Burning” presents us with this story showing ideas that follow the same pattern as those in Marxism. The idea Karl Marx presented is that what social class you are born into is the one in which you are influenced to become later in life.

Marxism is shown throughout the story with the idea of there is a division among the social classes and they clash against each other. There is something obviously happening throughout that causes some of this division throughout but a major one was the constant battles between the political and economic classes. For the economic class it is a struggle because of the class that Abner is currently in he feels threatened by those in the classes higher than him. He fears that they are judging him and not thinking of him in the same way as they would view him if he were in their social class. Abner does not like it when he feels that other people are judging him based on little he may have in his life compared to them. Abner does not believe in himself to be able to come into a position of power himself. He says ¨I reckon I´ll have a word with the man that aims to begin to-morrow owning me body and soul for the next eight months.¨ By saying this is showing how he personally is realizing that he knows his limits of how much power he has and can obtain unlike other people who may think that they can become powerful.

Abner showing that he has no intentions to fight and try to rise up the social level and become more of himself shows how he has been molded to fall into the social normalization of staying within the class you were born into. If he does not fight to try and move up the social hierarchy then it establishes contempt in his life that he does not want to try and better himself.

Abner only sees the option of violence to help get revenge for something that has happened and not as the way to move up in the social classes. But for Major de Spain, though, he is confident and refuses to be silent on issues facing him. He does not see any injustice in sharecropping the same way he did not see anything wrong with slavery. After leaving Major de Spain´s house he states that it was built on ¨nigger sweat¨ and the Major intended to add ¨white sweat¨ to the house too. With these comments it shows that they do not care about what class you are in or what race you are within that class. They just judge you on what social class that you fall into, no matter if you are white or black.

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