top-rated free essay

Barn Burning

By ewick7 Mar 12, 2013 735 Words
Erica Wicktora
ENG102 T/Th 1:00-2:15
Mrs. Gurley
February 12, 2013
Essay #2
Barn burning

In this class project we had to read the book called Barn Burning. It shows how some people are mistreated and how loyalty is played. I liked reading this book, because it taught me how people can be treated and how it happens in life today. William Faulkner brilliantly illustrates the importance of integrity and loyalty in this short story.

The Author William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi in 1897. He joined the Royal Air Force during the First World War and studied for a while at the University of Mississippi. He temporarily worked for a New York bookstore and a New Orleans newspaper. William Faulkner became famous for a series of novels that explore the South’s historical legacy, violent present and uncertain future. Some of his major works include The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Light in August, and Absalom, Absalom!, all firmly rooted in the fictional Mississippi county of Yoknapatawpha. Faulkner was particularly interested in the moral implications of history.

The main character Colonel Sartoris Snopes is a ten-year-old boy which is the story’s protagonist. He is forced to confront an ethical quandary that pits his loyalty to his family against the higher concepts of justice and morality. Abner Snopes is Sartoris’s father and a serial arsonist. He is known for his Wolf like independence and anger. He is convinced of his right to unleash his destructive revenge on anyone whom he believes has wronged him. Lennie Snopes is Sartoris’s mother. Lennie attempts to stem her husband’s destructive impulses. She is beaten down by the family’s endless cycle of flight and resettlement and the pall of criminality that has stained her clan. Major de Spain is a well-dressed and affluent landowner. De Spain brings the soiled rug to the Snopeses’ cabin and insists that they clean it and return it. Mr. Harris is a landowner for whom the Snopeses were short-term tenants. Harris had attempted to resolve the conflict over the Snopeses’ hog and he is left with a burned barn and no legal recourse.

The justice of the peace asks Mr. Harris for proof that Mr. Snopes burned his barn. Mr. Harris describes the numerous times Snopes’s hog broke through the fence and got into his cornfields. The final time, when Mr. Harris demanded a dollar for the animal’s return, the black man who was sent to fetch the hog gave Mr. Harris an ominous warning that wood and hay are flammable. Later that night, fire claimed Mr. Harris’s barn. While the judge claims that that by itself isn’t proof, Mr. Harris has Sartoris called to testify before the court. The boy knows his father is expecting him to lie on his behalf. The judge asks Mr. Harris whether he wants the child cross-examined, but Mr. Harris has the boy removed. The judge dismisses the charges against Snopes but warns him to leave the county for good. Snopes takes Sartoris to the house of Major de Spain, the owner on whose land the family will work. Sartoris escapes and runs to the de Spain house, bursting in on the servant. Breathlessly, he blurts out the word Barn! Three shots ring out and Snope is killed, and his plan to burn de Spain’s barn failed.

This story was very confusing to me at first because I had to read it a couple times to really understand what happened. It didn’t really catch my attention when I first read it because it was about a barn being burned down, but the attitude and actions used in the story really caught my attention. The behavior and the loyalty in this story are used in life today. It makes me feel grateful about my life and that we don’t have servants like they did back in the day. I really did enjoy reading this story and it taught me to be grateful for the life that I have.

Works Cited

Booth, Allison, and Kelly J. Mays. The Norton Introduction to Literature. Tenth ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, n.d. Print.

"William Faulkner - Biography". Nobelprize.org. 21 Feb 2013 http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1949/faulkner-bio.html

SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Barn Burning.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2007. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • barn burning

    ...Professor Lunsford 25 February, 2014 Independence Coming of Age A child’s mind is easy to control and change their thought process due to them being confused in situations they don’t know much about. In “Barn Burning” William Faulkner focuses on the morals of society versus the morals of sticking with family through the eyes of a te...

    Read More
  • Barn Burning

    ...Comp II 19 February 2013 William Faulkner: Barn Burning: Violent Relationship Dynamics William Faulkner’s Barn Burning is reflective of the dynamics domestic violence plays in family relationships and this is shown in the traits exhibited in the characters in the story. This is evident in the relationship between the children with their pa...

    Read More
  • Barn Burning

    ...Barn Burning "You're getting to be a man. You got to learn. You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain't going to have any blood to stick to you." This quote from William Faulkner's "Barn Burning" does reveal a central issue in the story, as Jane Hiles suggests in her interpretation. The story is about blood ties,...

    Read More
  • Barn Burning

    ...William Faulkner’s short story, “Barn Burning,” can be interpreted as a coming of age story. The main character, Sarty, is a young boy who is forced to choose between following morals and supporting his father. Throughout the text the reader sees that he is torn between the two, not old enough to put his foot down and say no, but not young...

    Read More
  • Barn Burning 13

    ...the wellbeing of the family, and as Sarty begins to compare him to his father, he begins to see the faults in Abner's rational and finally decides that he must take action and stop his father's train of destruction, and as a result betraying his father. At the beginning of "Barn Burning" it is already clear that Sarty gives complete support an...

    Read More
  • The Girl with the Blackened Eye/Barn Burning

    ...COMPARE AND CONTRAST OF TWO TALES Joyce Carol Oates “The Girl With the Blackened Eye” was a narrative depicting a story about a teenage girl who had experienced tragedy at the age fifteen. The narrator, the character had endured what is believed to be eight days of physical and mental abuse from her abductor. She was violated and ripped of...

    Read More
  • Faulkner Barn Burning

    ...Davita Washington Professor Michael Lewis American Literature II 30 April 2013 Faulkner’s Abner Snopes: Historical and Psychological Analysis In many of his works of fiction, William Faulkner explores the lives of characters that live in the closed society of the American South, particularly at the point in time...

    Read More
  • Barn Burning William Faulkner

    ...meet weight and height requirements, he then returned home to Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner attended University of Mississippi where he wrote the school newspapers and magazines. Due to his upbringing in the South which is duly noted in his literature works of art, Barn Burning would be considered his fictional representation of the merciless, m...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.