Does Snopes deliberately deface Major de Spain's rug?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Faulkner's "Barn Burning ," sexist that he is, among other things as well, of course, Abner orders the women in the family to clean the rug with lye.  Lye is an acid, and, while it will certainly get the dung out of the rug, will also ruin it. ...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

In Faulkner's "Barn Burning," sexist that he is, among other things as well, of course, Abner orders the women in the family to clean the rug with lye.  Lye is an acid, and, while it will certainly get the dung out of the rug, will also ruin it.  This is definitely on purpose. 

It has to be on purpose, of course, for Abner to be the Abner of the story.  He holds on to his dignity in this warped way.  He fights more against society and existence as a whole, than he fights against any one landlord or boss.  This is why he starts the trouble at this final stop in the story.  His landlord certainly doesn't do anything wrong or out of the ordinary. 

The least Abner could do is carefully clean the rug, but he won't.  His problem, though he is probably incapable of articulating it, is with the economic system and with his existence as a whole.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team