Why does Ab Snopes burn barns? Do you think his actions are justified? What is your reasoning?

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Tressa Beahan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The other responses are well-supported in the text, but one could argue that despite Snopes’ obvious flaws, his penchant for barn burning is somewhat understandable.

Abner is an impoverished tenant farmer who was likely born into poverty. In a post–Civil War South, Abner probably had few opportunities to advance his station in life, which trapped him in a place he resented. As a result, Abner resents the wealthy landowners for whom he works because they, unlike him, were likely born into wealth. Because he lacks any real power to change his lot in life, Abner seeks power in destruction.

To him, burning down the burns of the wealthy is righting the wrongs he has suffered under the rigid class structure of the South. While it’s easier to say Abner’s rage is misplaced and his arson habit is absolutely...

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epollock | Student

He is on his 10th barn, I believe, so he is an awfully cruel and hateful man. His actions can't be justified as he puts his family in jeopardy when he has to move from town to town.

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