A Comparison of the Similarities and Differences Between Emily from A Rose for Emily and Abner from Barn Burning by William Faulkner

Emily and Abner Alike?

Although Emily, from William Faulkners A Rose for Emily and Abner, from Barn Burning have some differences, they also have a lot in common. Emily and Abner are on totally different sides of society economically. Abner and Emily both have very little respect for others and are capable of harming others. Both of them struggle with pride and think the deserve more.

Miss Emily and Abner are on different ends of the social ladder. This is the biggest difference between them.

Emily is on the wealthy end of the ladder. She lives in a big house and owns property. It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street (Faulkner 87). Abner on the other hand, is a sharecropper and is very poor with no house or land. Abner probably isnt even on the ladder at all.

Another difference between them is in family. Abner has children and a wife. Emily doesnt have a family. For the most part she is alone.

Miss Emily is rude and inconsiderate of others. When the new mayor of the town wrote Miss Emily a letter asking her to call the town office, she didnt even reply. Miss Emily just ignored the letter because she thought she was too good to pay. Since Miss Emily wouldnt respond to the letter, the mayor sent some of his office members to go to her house and talk to her.

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When the servant let them in, Emily walked over to where they were standing and didnt even ask them to have a seat. When they tried to explain that she needed to start paying her taxes, she replied, I have no taxes in Jefferson. Colonel Sartoris (old mayor) explained it to me. Perhaps one of you can gain access to the city records and satisfy yourselves (Faulkner 89). When they told Miss Emily they were the city authorities and they have no record of any document stating her information, she was enraged and kicked them out of the house. Every time the town officials came back, she wouldnt even answer the door.

Abner is also a very rude and inconsiderate person. In the beginning of Barn Burning, Abner is being accused of burning Mr. Harriss barn down. Mr. Harris told the court that one of Abners hogs kept getting into his crop and was eating it. Mr. Harris stated that he would bring the hog back and ask Abner to keep it on his part of the land but Abner wouldnt listen. Mr. Harris even brought over some fence wire for Abner to put up but the hog kept coming back to eat the crop. Mr. Harris caught the hog again and told Abner he would have to pay a dollar to get the hog back this time. That evening Abner sent someone to give Mr. Harris a dollar and to tell Mr. Harris, wood and hay kin burn (Faulkner 226). That night Mr. Harriss barn burnt to the ground. Abner wasnt convicted but he was guilty. As Abner was leaving, this is what he said to the court, I dont figure to stay in a country among people who he said something very profane and rude (Faulkner 227). Both Emily and Abner lack respect for others.

Miss Emily is not only rude, but she is harmful too. She went to the store to buy some poison so she could kill a man named Homer that she appeared to like at the time. When she arrived at the store, she was very inconsiderate to the druggist and wouldnt answer any of his questions about why she needed the poison. Miss Emily told the druggist, I want some poison. The druggist replied, Yes, Miss Emily. What kind? For rats and such? Id recom. Miss Emily cut him off and said, I want the best you have. I dont care what kind. The druggist tried speaking to her again but she interrupted him with, Arsenic, is that a good one? The druggist told her arsenic was a good poison. The druggist asked Miss Emily, but what do you want. Emily cut him off with, I want arsenic(Faulkner 91). Miss Emily was extremely rude with the druggist and treated him like an animal or something. The next thing you know, Homer Baron is nowhere to be found. Homer was then found upstairs in house in a bed, rotted away. Miss Emily is obviously a very violent person. If Emily and Abner would have been a couple its no telling what she might have done to him.

Abner is very much similar to Emily. Abner is rude to his whole family almost all of the time. Throughout the story his family can never get a word in edgewise without getting a rude answer or just ignored. When Abners son (Sartoris) is hurt, Abner wont even give him enough time to wash off the blood.. Abner gave him a cold command, get back in the wagon (Faulkner 228). Abner is not very caring. Abner and his family were searching for somewhere to settle down for a while and farm someones crop in turn for some money and a place to stay. When they arrived at a wealthy landowners house, Abner went to the door to talk to the owner and just like Emily, he was rude and disrespectful. When Abner is asked to wipe his shoes before he enters he replies, Get out of my way nigger (Faulkner 231). Abner is very prideful and doesnt think he has to respect anyone just like Emily. Abner entered the house and tracked mud all over the expensive rug. Miss Lula (wife of Major de Spain who is owner of the house) came to the door and asked Abner to leave. Abner wouldnt even look at or speak to her. He just turned around and dragged his foot, smearing mud all over the expensive rug. Abner is very disrespectful. He thinks he doesnt have to answer to anyone and people are put on this Earth just to accommodate his needs and wants. They are so much alike. A few hours later, when Abner and his family were setting their things up in their living quarters, the rug that Abner had tromped mud all over was delivered to where they were staying with instructions for Abner to clean it and return it the way it was originally. Abners daughters started cleaning it, but when it was about clean, Abner did something unthinkable. He saw his father turn, and he fell to with the axe and saw from the corner of his eye his father raise from the ground a flattish fragment of field stone and examine it and return to the pot (Faulkner 233). Abner scraped the rock all over the rug, which was now unrepairable. Abners pride has the best of him, he cant even humble himself to do anything. Abner delivers the rug back to the house and just throws it on the ground. Abner is then told he has to replace the rug by giving them twenty bushels of corn that Abner has to harvest. Abner refuses to pay for anything. Abner was very rude to the homeowner just like Emily was to the druggist. Abner eventually ended up burning down Major de Spains barn.

Miss Emily and Abner are very much alike in their attitudes and outlook on life, yet they are so different in that they live in totally different living conditions. They dont respect other people and think they are above others and the dont have to answer to anyone else but themselves. They are two very violent individuals and if they were ever placed together they would probably kill each other or Emilys house would burn down. Miss Emily and Abner are on totally different levels of the social ladder, yet they are so alike.

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A Comparison of the Similarities and Differences Between Emily from A Rose for Emily and Abner from Barn Burning by William Faulkner. (2022, Feb 21). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-comparison-of-the-similarities-and-differences-between-emily-from-a-rose-for-emily-and-abner-from-barn-burning-by-william-faulkner/

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