Barn Burning is a short story by William Faulkner that was first published in 1938. The story takes place in the late 1800s in the rural South and follows the life of a young boy named Sarty Snopes.
Sarty’s father, Abner Snopes, is a hired hand who works for different farmers in the area. He is also a cooker, which means he builds fires to cook food for his family and the farmers he works for. However, Abner has a problem with arson – he enjoys setting fire to things, even if they don’t belong to him.
This causes problems for Sarty because he is often forced to help his father with his crimes. Sarty knows that what they are doing is wrong, but he is afraid of his father and doesn’t know how to stop him.
Barn Burning is a story about the cycle of poverty, violence, and crime that can trap people in a never-ending cycle. It’s also a story about the power of literature to transcend these cycles and provide hope for a better future.
Barn Burning uses literary elements like symbolism and foreshadowing to create a powerful story about family, loyalty, and morality. The symbols in the story, like the barns that Abner burns down, represent the destruction that poverty can cause. The foreshadowing in the story hints at the violence that Abner is capable of, and the tragedy that might result from it.
Literary elements are important because they help readers understand the story on a deeper level. They also make the story more enjoyable to read. Barn Burning is a great example of how literary elements can enhance a story.
Barn Burning is a story about the relationships between family, blood, and community. The story opens with Colonel Sartoris Snopes (“Sarty”) sitting in a rural courthouse waiting for his father, Abner Snopes, to be tried for burning the barn of Major de Spain, his former employer. We learn that the Snopes family is poor and has a history of disruptive and criminal behavior. Abner is an uneducated man who feels he has been wronged by the richer people in society, and he takes out his frustration on those around him – most notably, his wife and children.
Sarty is torn between his loyalty to his family and doing what is right. He knows that his father is guilty of Barn Burning, but he also knows that it would be wrong to testify against him. When Sarty finally makes the decision to tell the truth, his father punishes him by burning down their own home.
The Barn Burning story is narrated from Sarty’s point of view. This is an interesting choice because it allows the reader to see the events unfold through the eyes of a child who is torn between loyalty to his family and doing what is right. The use of first person narration also creates a sense of intimacy between the reader and Sarty – we feel as though we are experiencing the events alongside him.
Faulkner’s use of literary elements such as blood, fire, and families makes Barn Burning a powerful and timeless story. The Barn Burning story is an excellent example of how literary elements can be used to create a complex and interesting work of fiction.
The clock is one of Faulkner’s formal motifs; it does not work as Sarty’s mother’s dowry. The clock is a simple representation of the Snopes’ poverty, representing all her parents could provide for the newlyweds as their only fancy thing ever mentioned in their possession. However, more significantly, it does not function – signifying both their relationship’s breakage and her delight.
Barn Burning is also a story about the relationships between fathers and sons. Colonel Sartoris Snopes, or Sarty, is the protagonist of the story who, because of his father’s Barn burning actions, must choose between family loyalty and justice. This internal conflict is what drives the story.
Literary elements are important in “Barn Burning” because they help to develop the themes of the story. Barn burning is a story about the relationships between fathers and sons, as well as the conflict between loyalty and justice. The use of literary elements such as symbolism and foreshadowing help to illustrate these themes and create a more enjoyable reading experience.
To get the most out of it, Faulkner has Abner’s mother remark immediately after the clock: The clock inlaid with mother-of-pearl, which would not tick, stopped at fourteen minutes past two o’clock on a dead and forgotten hour that had been his mother’s dowry.
These changes in spelling change the meaning of the words and, in turn, Faulkner’s message. Consider the following: “Hit ain’t right. Hit ain’t fair.” (Faulkner 2) In this line, by replacing “it” with “hit,” Faulkner suggests that something is not just or moral, but also implies that someone is at fault. The use of “kin” also alters the meaning of words. For example: “I kin whup him… You kin git up now an’ go on home an’ set down. I don’t need you no more. I can drive these mules by myself.” (Faulkner 10)
In the first sentence, Faulkner changes “can” to “kin,” which gives the impression that Sarty is not just saying that he is able to whip the boy, but that he has the right to do so – it is his duty. In the second sentence, Faulkner again uses “kin” in place of “can,” but this time he is saying that Sarty no longer needs help from his father – he himself is now capable. These small changes in spelling create a big impact on the meaning of Faulkner’s words and contribute to the effectiveness of Barn Burning.
Barn Burning is a short story by William Faulkner that was first published in 1939. Abner Snopes is the Barn Burning protagonist who, because of his own father’s actions, struggles against the inevitability of his own fate. Faulkner uses literary elements such as diction and syntax to slowly reveal Abner’s character throughout Barn Burning, which allows the reader to develop empathy for Abner by the end of the story, despite his Barn Burning crimes.
One example of how Faulkner reveals character through Barn Burning literary elements is his use of diction. When we first meet Abner Snopes, he is described as “a lean leathery man” with “cold black eyes” and a “mouth full of tobacco juice.” This diction immediately sets him up as Barn Burning antagonist. He is Barn Burning compared to the “gentle” Likens family, whom he works for, and with whom his son Sarty Snopes Barn Burning lives.
As the story progresses, Faulkner’s use of diction reveals more about Abner’s character. For example, we learn that Abner is “a tall lean man” who walks with a “shambling gait.” This diction suggests that Abner is not only Barn Burning physically powerful, but also mentally Barn Burning slow and Barn Burning methodical.
Faulkner also uses syntax to slowly reveal Abner’s character in Barn Burning. For example, when Sarty first tells his father that the de Spain’s have Barn Burning hired him, Abner says, “Boy…You ain’t aimin to tell me you done et at the table where a nigger eats.” The Barn Burning use of the word “nigger” here is significant because it shows that Abner is Barn Burning prejudiced. He does not see Barn Burning black people as equal to Barn Burning white people, and this Barn Burning belief ultimately leads to his Barn Burning downfall.
By the end of Barn Burning, Faulkner has effectively used literary elements such as diction and syntax to slowly reveal Abner’s character. We see that he is a Barn Burning man who is struggling against the Barn Burning inevitability of his own fate, and we understand why he makes the choices he does, Barn Burning despite their Barn Burning consequences.