Critical Essay Of Barn Burning

Barn Burning - Charcter Analysis

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Charcter Analylis Barn Burning

Character Analysis William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning”

In “Barn Burning” the setting is a time when people drove horse wagons and the workingmen were generally farmers. The major character in this story is Colonel Sartoris Snopes, called “Sarty” by his family who is a ten-year-old boy. In the beginning, Sarty is portrayed as a confused and frightened young boy. He is in despair over the burden of doing the right thing or sticking by his family, as his father states,” You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain’t going to have any blood to stick to you.”

Sarty’s father, Abner Snopes is accused of burning down a barn and Sarty is called upon to testify against his father and to tell the events of what happened. He wants to tell the truth because it is the right thing to do, but he knows he might have lie to save his father from being reprimanded. To his relief, it is decided that Sarty will not have to testify and is dismissed from testifying. It is decided by the Justice of the Peace to order Abner and his family to leave town at once.

Sarty has moved twelve times in his ten years of age and although the story does not state clearly, that this is not the first time his father has set fire to a barn, but shows that the chances are, that he probably has done this in the past which has affected Sarty in how he feels about his father. Sarty’s other family members include the mother, aunt, an older brother, and two twin sisters who are minor contributing factors in this story. The family knows the father is responsible for the burning of the barns and they even unwillingly help him at his requests. This story describes the family somewhat concerned for the father, but they never challenge his decision to burn the barns even though it is wrong.

The critical point of the story is when Sarty decides to tell Mr. De Spain that his father is going to burn his barn. Sarty is in disarray because he doesn’t know what is going to happen to him next and is probably speculating that his family will never forgive him because the of the harm that will come to their father if he is caught in the act.

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This is what so unique and mature of him showing that he was brave enough to do the right thing no matter the consequence.

Sarty showed very little signs of caring for his father through out the story, but when he heard the two loud gunshots he called out to his father in concern, as if he wished, he had never told the truth. Maybe this will be a decision he will regret and hope someday that his family will accept him for doing the right thing.



Literary Analysis of Barn Burning Essay example

936 Words4 Pages

A Literary Analysis of Barn Burning

At first glance, the story “Barn burning” seems just to be about a tyrannical father and a son who is in the grips of that tyranny. I think Faulkner explores at least one important philosophical question in this story were he asks at what point should a person make a choice between what his parent(s) and / or family believes and his own values?

The main character and protagonist in this story is a boy named Colonel Sartoris. In this story, Sarty is faced with the decision of either going along with the views and actions of his morally challenged father or asserting his own morality and individuality by running away and leaving his family and his pain behind.

The antagonist in the story is…show more content…

Next, we are introduced to the antagonist, Abner Snobes, when he talks for the first time since the trial began. He also establishes the fact that he plans to move himself and his family out of town. We are then introduced to the rest of Sarty’s family.

The inciting force takes place after Sarty and his family move to a house owned by a man named De Spain, under the assumption that they will cultivate De Spain’s farm and give him a portion of the crop. After the family moves into the house, Abner decides to have a word with De Spain, so he and Sarty make their way to De Spain’s house. In the book Short Story Criticism, Edmond Volpe states that “De Spain’s house is obviously an important symbol for Sarty because his immediate response to the site of the house is to compare it to a symbol of justice, the courthouse” (163). Along the walk, Abner walks with such arrogance that he treads right through a pile of horse manure. In the next scene, the inciting force is established. In this scene, Abner proceeds to go into De Spain’s house and wipes his soiled feet all over De Spain’s expensive rug. In the book Short Story Criticism, Edmond Volpe states that “Ab does not discriminate between rich and poor. For him there are only two categories: ‘blood kin’ and ‘they,’ into which he clumps all the rest of mankind” (163). This attitude is also evident by the role that Abner played in the Civil War, in which he had stolen

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