Barn Burning

Length: 4 Pages 891 Words

William Faulkner’s Barn Burning is a story about a poor family that moves from one rural Mississippi town to another because of the father’s, Abner Snopes, actions. The story begins at Abner’s hearing for setting fire to The Harris’s barn after a dispute over a bothersome pig. We get a glimpse into his son Sarty’s mind and see that Abner has completely brainwashed him into thinking that everybody is their enemy and out to get them. Although Sarty maintains his loyalty to his father for as long as he can, he is eventually driven by numerous reasons to leave home. One of the reasons Sarty leaves is because he realizes there is a life out there for him that is not full of the fear, grief, and despair caused by his father that he feels now. He is called to the stand to testify and thinks to himself “He aims for me to lie, he thought, again with that frantic grief and despair.”(page 398) He is so blinded by these emotions that he “could not see that the Justice’s face was kindly” and saw him only as his and his father’s enemy, though the judge had done no harm to them.(page 398) As he is working the fields with his brother, he hopes that everything vanishes, “corn, rug, fire, the terror and grief; the bein Continue...


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He still thinks of his father as a brave, honorable soldier in Colonel Sartirus' Calvary, and he really does not know that Abner was only a horse thief and was never a soldier in the Civil War. And when Abner tells Sarty that the judge and Mr. Another reason he leaves is because he begins to realize that his father is not a good person and that he does not have to put up with his father's abuse any longer. Not only does he name his son as a part of his games to trick people, (Colonel Sartirus) he does not even do him the courtesy of calling him by name. It is a safe bet to say that after a certain point Sarty would wise up and get sick of taking it. Abner uses him to do all his work around the farm while he stands around doing basically nothing. After the first trial he thinks that "Maybe he's done satisfied now, now that he has... but then he trails off, unable to finish the thought. Not only does Sarty finally understand that what his father does is wrong, he probably takes it as a personal attack on himself as well as on the de Spain's and that is very possibly a correct conclusion. Even his father could not jog Sarty's memory back to thinking of his despair. g pulled two ways like between two teams of horses gone, done with forever and ever. This is definitely a turning point in their relationship and when Sarty leaves to warn Major de Spain, he does not return. (page 405) He also gains a sense of hope as he approaches the de Spain's time for the first time. Abner knows that the house means something to Sarty and is jealous or feels inadequate about it or both. The De Spain's house makes Sarty forget his despair and terror, and those feelings do not return despite his father's shadow looming ahead of him. He hits him, speaks harshly to him, and never shows any affection towards him.

PROFESSIONAL ESSAYS:

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