Essay about Setting in William Faulkner's Barn Burning

Essay about Setting in William Faulkner's Barn Burning

Length: 1596 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Critical Viewing on Barn Burning

William Faulkner’s use of a setting in a short story, such as “Barn Burning”, effected the entire outcome of the story from start to finish. In “Barn Burning”, a young boy must face his father and face the reality of a harsh world. He must also discover for himself that his father is wrong and learn to grow up the right way in a racial environment. Faulkner’s setting is one of the most important literary elements that help the audience understand the story.

When an author puts a simple-minded group of people in a complex plot, one would get a confusing story line. William Faulkner does just this. He takes a young black boy and puts him in the real world of chaos and disorder. The world of the South, race is one of the most important factors in the way one would live then. “Sartoris Snopes’ struggle to free himself from his violent, driven father” (ASST, 7.) The only way he can retain his own dignity at the end of the day is to believe in his own courage and goodwill. Between this young boy, Sartoris, and his father, Abner Snopes, there is a naturalistic kind of loyalty that comes from a higher power. This loyalty is what saves Abner from the wrath of the white men, during the beginning of the story.

In the beginning of the story, Sartoris (Sarty) is faced with his first major conflict. He is in a court room/store as a witness to a barn burning. The judge can only pardon Abner because Sarty is just a boy and is not used as the essential witness, but the judge tells them they must leave the country for their own safety and the safety of others. Sarty thinks to himself all the mean while, how he must not talk to the white men. “Our enemy … ourn! mine and hisn both! He’s my father...


... middle of paper ...


... this silence, he thinks everything through and plans things. Therefore, he becomes a dangerous enemy of society.

With this in mind, William Faulkner’s use of setting to deepen the plot and theme only confuses the audience, but lets them see the oppression the poor man faces and allows them to come to a conclusion. Faulkner also wrote according to personal feelings and past experiences growing up in the deep South. So many of his stories deal with racial discrimination or the oppression of a certain social class. “The story is deceptive in its apparent simplicity.” (Gorman, 163.) A simple character put into a complex plot.



Bibliography:

1. American Short Story Tradition, packet.

2. “Exploring Short Stories.” Pg. 4

3. Gorman, Thomas R. “Short Story Criticism” Pg. 163-165

4. Faulkner, William. “Barn Burning.” Pg. 377-389.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Barn Burning By William Faulkner

- In William Faulkner’s story “Barn Burning” a young boy named Sarty is raised by an impoverished white family of sharecroppers, their circumstances leave little room for them to improve their conditions of living. Their family has to work on rich landowner’s farms and get paid a little share of the land owner’s crops. Given their situation Sarty’s father Abner when feeling wronged takes matters into his own hands, and often this is done by burning down the landowner’s barns. Sarty is constantly being placed into a situation where he has to choose between his beliefs in right and wrong, or his fathers....   [tags: Barn Burning, William Faulkner, Morality, Ethics]

Strong Essays
1091 words (3.1 pages)

Barn Burning By William Faulkner Essay

- In William Faulkner 's “Barn Burning”, Sarty fights his own internal conflict of whether to side with his family, therefore lying about his father’s history of arson, or to abandon his family due to his moral issues with their actions. Sarty defends his father’s honor as a way of siding with his family. He brawls with the boys outside the “courthouse” all because they disparage his father by calling him a “barn burner” (p. 208). Sarty regrets telling the truth to the judge. Sarty becomes well aware of his decisions and realizes how they can impact his family....   [tags: Barn Burning, William Faulkner, Lie, Morality]

Strong Essays
719 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of ' Barn Burning ' By William Faulkner

- In the short story “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner, there are two major characters, Sarty who is the narrator and the protagonist, and Abner who is also his father and the antagonist. Abner Snopes is a poor man, with nothing of value, he is a serial arsonist and is known for his fierce wolf-like independence personality which is feared by his family including Sarty, Abner feel he must lash out at the world out of spite and if he been wronged in anyway regardless his fault he will retaliate through arson....   [tags: Barn Burning, William Faulkner, Abuse]

Strong Essays
755 words (2.2 pages)

Barn Burning By William Faulkner Essay

- In the William Faulkner short story “Barn Burning”, the main character Sarty and his family started off living in one barn, then ended up having to relocate to a different barn due to a barn burning incident. Whenever it was time to relocate homes, the father Sade always had another house ready for them. Sarty had a family with a very unstable life, did barn work with his family to survive, and would utmost established a secure life without his family. To begin with, Sarty and his family have lived an extremely unstable life controlled by the father Sade....   [tags: Short story, William Faulkner, Barn Burning]

Strong Essays
1080 words (3.1 pages)

Abner 's Barn Burning By William Faulkner Essays

- Family is often a hand people do not get to choose for themselves, but rather they are left dealing with the hand they were dealt till they are strong enough to break free. Sometimes family can do more harm than good in providing proper guidance, love, and support. This is certainly the case with living with Abner Snope in William Faulkner’s short story “Barn Burning”. It takes place in a post-civil war time period and based in the southern rural regions of Mississippi. Abner Snopes, the father as well as the family’s primary provider, works in the sharecropping profession....   [tags: Barn Burning, William Faulkner, Short story]

Strong Essays
808 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about William Faulkner 's ' Barn Burning '

- Accomplice to Accomplishment In “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner, follows the protagonist, Colonel Sartoris Snopes, also known as Sarty, a small, wiry 10 year old boy who has inherited innocence and morals from his mom, while attempted to be taught loyalty above all from his father. As well as his father, Abner, a serial arsonist who is cold, violent, and values loyalty. Also Sarty’s mom, Lennie, who is emotional, caring, and seems beaten down from the constant moving due to her husband’s illegal activities....   [tags: William Faulkner, Sartoris, Barn Burning]

Strong Essays
855 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Analysis of The Barn Burning by William Faulkner

- Analysis of The Barn Burning by William Faulkner The short story “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner is about a ten year old boy, Sarty Snopes, who has grown to realize that his father, Abner Snopes, provides a life of “despair and grief” as he refuses to accept the “peace and dignity” generated by the ties with other people. In essence, Sarty is faced with the dilemma of choosing between his family (his blood) and moral conscience of what is right and wrong. Jane Hiles interprets this story to be about blood ties through Sartys character in dealing with his internal conflict with his father....   [tags: The Barn Burning William Faulkner Essays]

Strong Essays
995 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Critical Analysis of Barn Burning by William Faulkner

- Critical Analysis of Barn Burning by William Faulkner The story of "Barn Burning" was "first published in the June of 1939 in the Harper's Magazine and later awarded the O. Henry Memorial Award for the best short story of the year." The author, William Faulkner, "was one of America's most innovative novelists". The way he describes the smells, sites and sounds of the rural late 1800's make you feel as if you are there with the characters in this story. Through the use of symbolism, Faulkner tells the story about a relationship of a father and son....   [tags: Barn Burning William Faulkner Essays]

Strong Essays
1230 words (3.5 pages)

Loyalty to Family in Barn Burning by William Faulkner Essay example

- Loyalty to Family in Barn Burning by William Faulkner The short story "Barn Burning" by William Faulkner is a stark look at the struggle of a boy to try to do what is right, or do what is best for his family during the post Civil War era. The main character, Sartoris Snopes is a poor son of a migrant tenant farmer who, in the opening scene is being questioned about the burning of a farmers barn by his father, Abner Snopes. The boy is torn between choosing what is right, telling the truth, or lying to protect his father....   [tags: Short Story Barn Burning William Faulkner]

Strong Essays
702 words (2 pages)

A Father's Legacy in William Faulkner's Barn Burning Essay

- A Father's Legacy in William Faulkner's Short Story "Barn Burning" The cruel dominance of a father, can extinguish any flame of hope that builds in the people around him. In William Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning," Abner is that father. The story portrays a nomadic life of a family driven from one home to another. Abner had a craving hunger to belittle those around him that thought they were "better than him." Although the family accepts the nomadic life, Sarty (the son) dreams of having peace and stability....   [tags: William Faulkner Barn Burning]

Strong Essays
1014 words (2.9 pages)