How do you start a Barn Burning term paper? Our expert writers suggest like this:
William Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning" was written at the end of the 1930s. At this time, the United States had been in the Great Depression for several years. The economic hardships brought to many by the Great Depression had reach their severest point. But the Depression did not affect everyone. There were some groups in the United States which remained relatively untouched by the hardships of the Depression, the main theme. The lives, social standing, and financial foundation of these individuals changed hardly at all. And they continued to live their lives of comfort and prosperity in the midst of individuals who were suffering the worst of the hardships.
The Setting of Barn Burning for Your Research Paper
"Barn Burning" is set in the years following the Civil War. Nonetheless, it can also be seen as reflecting the social conditions of the United States in the Depression of the 1930s and the relationships and living conditions of different classes during this time. Both the years after the Civil War and the Great Depression were periods of significant change throughout the United States, and this develops the plot. The changes affected the South, the setting. The South underwent fundamental changes in the period of Reconstruction following the Civil War:
- The freeing of large numbers of blacks from slavery changed the economy fundamentally
- Free slaves fundamentally changed the social structure of the South.
- Many poor whites, many of whom had fought for the South in the Civil War, had to become tenant farmers to make a living.
Despite these changes, Southern society remained primarily agricultural. At best, the living a tenant farmer made was poor; and the tenant farmer was continually under the domination of the landowner who gave him a small plot of land to farm in exchange for a large share of the crops grown by the tenant farmer. In effect, white tenant farmers took the place of blacks in the agrarian society of the South after the Civil War. Faulkner's main character, Abner Snopes, represents the position as well as the grievances of many poor white tenant farmers in the South in the decades after the Civil War. Abner Snopes, however, is self-destructive and seemingly somewhat mad.