The Elements of Fiction in “Barn Burning”
By: Cody Harper
Plot: The exposition is understood at the beginning of the story. The reader learns that Abner is controlling over his family, and when someone does him wrong, he becomes abusive and violent. His son Sarty, who knows his dad is wrong, feels the need to defend him out of his loyalty to family. The rising action is when Sarty hopes that with each new start, his father will have a change of heart and stop setting fires. The climax is when Sarty realizes his father already has a new home picked out before he even starts the fire and realizes that his father will never change. The falling action is when Sarty finally decides that regardless of loyalty to his family, he has to do the right thing, even if it means losing his father. The resolution is when after losing his father, Sarty walks away from the rest of his family to get a fresh start on life because he knows it is his only option.
Narration/Point of View: The story is written in third party omniscient point of view. Not only do you know what Abner does and how he justifies his actions in his own mind, you also learn why he really does it and how the rest of the family out of desperation, deal with the abuse.
Protagonist: The protagonist is Sarty. He is the person that all of the emotional actions are centered on. He is the one that has to grow up and come to grips with his own morals, while having the courage to make the right decisions. He deals with the turmoil between knowing what is right, and the loyalty to family or “blood” as his father always preaches.
Antagonist: The antagonist in the story is moral growth. Sarty defends his father even though he knows what he is doing is wrong, but he is always hoping that his father will have a change in heart and stop. He learns how to deal with the conflicts that he knows he has to overcome to grow up.
Conflict: The conflict in the story is when Sarty realizes his father is never going...
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