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The element of fire is a very powerful and destructive force to those who encounter it It is often interpreted as an evil symbol as fires tend to be violent and uncontrollable towards anything in its path This strong devastating element of fire can also be used as a central symbol to describe a psychological conflict within ones mind or the problem with interacting with others In Faulkners short story Barn Burning and Barrecas poem Nighttime Fires the fire is used as a symbol to represent the revenge and anger towards the world felt by the fathers who in turn trigger a response in their children In the short story Barn Burning by Faulkner Abner Snopes was the angry and controlling father of the protagonist He was an aggressive violent and bitter man who worked as a sharecropper and destructively burned barns Abner had a strong longing for revenge against the socio-economic system and burned barns as a means of getting even with the upper class He constantly viewed himself as a violated victim in a society where the aristocratic class prevailed Abner was unable to accept pressure from an authority and by burning what they owned he felt he took power away from them Abner burns with a ravening and jealous rage He burned to sustain his own virtue feeling that he was treated unjustly in life the element of fire spoke to some deep mainspring of his being as the element of steel or of powder spoke to other men as the one weapon for the preservation of integrity When Abner came into conflict with an employer he reverted back to his old mercenary ways of non allegiance to benefit himself In the old Civil War he wore no uniform admitting the authority of and giving fidelity to no man or army or flag--it meant nothing and less than nothing to him if it were enemy booty or his own After ruining the
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