Another proof of the inequality and injustice prevalent at the time is the verdict given by the justice of peace. Though the justice knows that monetary compensation would be nearly impossible for Snopes to pay, he goes ahead with it nonetheless. The loss suffered by the plaintiff is relatively much lower than the compensation imposed on the guilty. And this is a clear case of flawed justice.
Abner Snopes is associated with such group of words as “bloodless”, “stiff”, “ruthless”, “ironlike”, “cut from tin”, etc. They suggest a mechanical, indifferent and inhuman character for Snopes. The humanity in him is completely squeezed out and in its place lingers a “frozen ferocity” and a “cold, dead voice”. Through such qualifiers Faulkner tries to convey what dehumanizing effects the economic and social conditions of a society can inflict on an individual. It is important to note that Mississippi (where this story was set) was a very backward state during the 1930, with rampant racial atrocities and economic turmoil. Keeping this background in mind helps us to understand the causes and conditions that shaped Abner Snopes’ character.
Thus, the long standing class distinctions between the propertied and tenant whites; the racial discrimination between blacks and whites; the ironic assumption of racial superiority by the white trash over the blacks are all brilliantly captured in the narrative. The author tries to portray the reality of America as it was and the human toll of such a brutal reality on the individual and his community. A careful study of the text persuades and disillusions the reader about the “land of opportunity”. Alongside the American Dream lurks the American Nightmare.