March 26, 2015
Sympathy for William Faulkner
In the short stories “Barn Burning” and “A Rose for Emily”, by William Faulkner, the main characters in the two stories face different conflicts in their lives. Abner Snopes in “Barn Burning” faces the many challenges of being poor, while Miss Emily, in “A Rose for Emily”, faces the challenges of loneliness and the longing to be loved. Even though Abner Snopes is presented as a man who struggles to keep money, Miss Emily’s story is much more worthy of sympathy because of her heartbreaking story.
In the beginning of “Barn Burning” Abner is shown talking to a law enforcement officer about how his land lord’s barn was burned down. Although it is clear that it was Abner whom burned down the barn, Abner still lies about what happened and tries to blame it on one of the black servants. When the officer still refuses to believe Snopes, Abner tries to get his son, Satoris, to lie to the officer. Abner and his family then have to pack up and move away, showing how poor they really are. “…sitting on or among the sorry residue of the dozen or more movings which even the boy could remember- the battered stove, the broken beds and chairs, the clock inlaid with mother-of-pearl, which would not run, stopped at some fourteen minutes past two o’clock of a dead and forgotten day and time, which had been his mother’s dowry.” Later on in the story Satoris tries to confront his father about the truth of what had happened, but Abner wouldn’t allow that, so Abner throws Satoris to the ground for defying him. Throughout the rest of the story Abner continues to defy authority. Even through all of this, however, Abner still takes care of his family.
While Abner lived a poor life, Miss Emily grew up in a completely different environment. She grew up and was supported by her father her entire life. When her father died, she refused to accept it for a while, but when she did she realized that she was alone. Emily knew from then on she had to find someone to marry, because she couldn’t bear the thought of living alone. One day she looked outside and saw a construction worker named Homer, who was working on the sidewalk in front of her house. She soon fell in love with him, not long after, and decided he was the one to marry. He, however, denied her hand in marriage, so she had to take more drastic measures to make him stay with her forever. Miss…