Literary Analysis of Barn Burning

Topics: William Faulkner, Sartoris, Barn Burning Pages: 2 (771 words) Published: April 11, 2012
Literary Analysis of Barn Burning
Child abuse has been a common occurrence throughout the times of this world. In the story Barn Burning that was written by the author William Faulkner, a story is told of a boy named Colonel Sartoris Snopes who lives with his family. His father is a man who has seen the brutality of war and has a very cold heart. His name is Abner Snopes. His heart is so cold that it is almost as if he is not even human. William Faulkner in the story uses words comparing Abner Snopes to a house fly, or stinging wasp and also says that he lifts his hand like a curled claw. This suggests that the Author was trying to give the readers an image of Abner Snopes being someone who lacked human qualities. Mainly he lacked qualities such as compassion and understanding. Abner Snopes outer appearance completely reflects his inner emotions. His leg being shot in the war as he was attempting to steal confederate horses from for his very own self profit, drags behind him everywhere he goes. This image fits well with the strange ideology of family values he has, as well as the inner corruption and love of revenge that this character embodies. He compensates for these lack of human qualities by ruling over his family with an iron fist, and bring violence to anyone who he believes that has done wrong towards him.

In the beginning of the story Sartoris and Abner Snopes are in a court room being accused of burning down another man’s barn. Mr. Harris, the barn owner, explains how Abner Snopes pig repeatedly broke through hia fence escaping into Mr. Harris’s property. After multiple occurrences Mr. Harris demands one dollar from Abner Snopes for the return of his animal. A man is sent to Mr. Harris’s with the money to buy back the hog but as a leaving message the man forewarns Mr. Harris that wood and hay are combustible. The judge decides that that alone is not enough to be used as proof so the case is dismissed. However, the judge lets Abner Snopes know that...
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