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Some interpretations of Herman Melvilles Bartleby the Scrivener and William Faulkners Barn Burning have explained these works as a testament to the individuals struggle against society These stories highlight and illustrate the currents of social inequity and revere ones stake in their identity beyond all adversity Both stories conflicts deal with the characters resistance to these injustices and consequently cause their inevitable downfall The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast Bartleby the Scrivener and Barn Burning as they are reflections of the moral ethical and personal conflicts that existed at the time in which they were written The time period in which Barn Burning is set allows for the moral and ethical conflicts to unfold It takes place in the late 1800s to the early 1900s in the rural American South This was a time in our history during which Blacks were grossly oppressed and where whites dominated the legal and social circles Inequity between the races was especially notable in the American South as this was the ebb of post- Civil war America In Barn Burning Faulkner uses the Snopes family a poor Black family living in the South and the deSpains a rich white family to illustrate the inequality that existed in contemporary society From the onset of the story the Snopes family was pitted against the Harrises another rich white family Abner Snopes the father was suspected of burning down a barn and a lawman was questioning both Abner and his son Sarty about the incident Both the landowner and lawman are symbols of white dominance The engagement of these two parties in a legal conflict are representative of prevalent moral conflicts in society at the time William Faulkner lived Benjamin DeMott describes the perception of Abner Snopes toward the rich deSpains and Harris families as a product of his ignorance and brutality in the Article Abner Snopes as a Victim of Class DeMott 2 Abner is a
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