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Literary Analysis of Barn Burning Essays

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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 Abner Snobes. Abner Snobes is a very angry and inconsiderate man who has hate and detestation for almost anybody who is not “blood-kin”, and he portrays that hatred and contempt throughout the story (qtd. In Volpe 163).

This story follows the typical format and is narrated in the third person. In the exposition, Faulkner’s skill as a writer is demonstrated through the way that he uses detail to draw the readers into the story. Also, in the first paragraph we are introduced to the main character and protagonist in the story, Sarty. The setting in which Sarty’s conflict is established is a trial. In the trial, the justice asks Sarty, “ I reckon any boy named for Colonel Sartoris in this country can’t help but tell the truth, can they” (qtd. in...


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