Analysis Of William Faulkner 's ' Barn Burning ' Essay

Analysis Of William Faulkner 's ' Barn Burning ' Essay

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William Faulkner’s ‘Barn Burning’, is the tale a young man, by the name of Colonel “Sarty” Sartoris Snopes and his father, Abner “Ab” Snopes, and the difference between right and wrong. The story commences in a courtroom, where Ab is on trial for burning a barn. Young Sarty is called to the stand to testify as to what took place, until the plaintiff told the judge he didn’t want him to question the young child. However, Sarty was unsure of the decision he would make if he was questioned. Sarty was unsure if he would choose his loyalty to his father, or if he would do the noble thing and tell the truth. Sarty and Ab’s relationship was strained with abuse, anxiety and fear, Sarty’s devotion to Ab never reciprocated, until Sarty makes the most important decision of his childhood taking him into adulthood to confess his father’s crime.
To the reader, Ab Snopes, the antagonist and father of Sarty, is portrayed as pyromaniac with no sense of respect of compassion for others property. However, authors Fargnoli, Golay, and Hamblin illustrates him as “a horrible father, known for burning down barn” (58). The story begins with Ab being on trial for allegedly setting a man’s barn on fire. Ab was eventually acquitted of the pending charge due to lack of evidence and was ordered out of town. The reader assumed Ab possibly made a mistake, and would learn from his lesson. Faulkner implicates Ab as an abusive audacious man who expects, his children to conceal his crimes. The reader interprets this when Ab interrogates Sarty around the fire, “You’re getting to be a man. You got to learn to stick to your blood or you ain’t going to have any blood to stick to you.” (Barn Burning 9). Ab advised Sarty of this shortly after hit struck him in the head ...


... middle of paper ...


... was conceivably as selfish as his Ab’s decision to burn the barn.
Although Ab Snopes was an abusive, cynical, domineering, pyromaniac, he was still Sarty Snopes’ father. Sarty knew all of these atrocious things about his father he still loved him and felt the need to protect him. Sarty’s unfortunate dilemma compelled him to make an adult decision, which he did not fully think through, causing him to become an orphan and an adult at the age of ten. Ab Snopes’ selfishness, anger, and carelessness placed not only himself, but also his family in harm’s way. Throughout the story An Snopes produced several traits of psychological problems, which he put a strain on his relationship with his family members. No one in the family was able to adapt to their environments as a result of him constantly making mischief and the family constantly having to move to different areas.

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