This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Barn Burning Essay

1155 words - 5 pages

A Man Becoming What does it mean to be a man? Is it a state dictated by society or the individual? The society of the forties had its definition, and though the authors William Faulkner and Richard Wright are writing two completely different stories, their topics are similar. In both Faulkner's "Barn Burning" and Wright' s The Man Who Was Almost a Man" there is a young man striving for manhood. One wishes to prove to the society around him that he is a man, the other is struggling for himself, though he may not understand that at the time. While both boys, Sarty and Dave, respectively, are given the same situations in life, only Sarty reaches the goal of his struggle, while Dave loses himself in the search, proving that in order to be a man, one must first surrender to their own authority, then society shall follow.Sarty Snopes is a young boy torn by his loyalty and obedience to his father and his own sense of morality. Of course this leads to a major conflict in his heart and mind. All during the time he was growing up Sarty heard from his father, "You gotta stick to your own blood or you ain't going to have any blood to stick to you" (390). His father is telling him here that in order to be a man, he must recognize certain loyalties. These loyalties have nothing to do with law and justice. They're about family, "old blood. " Sarty does understand this, but he had not determined how he is to reconcile this loyalty with what he knows is right. He is struggling within himself to find that medium between family loyalty and standing for what he believes.Dave of "The Man Who Was Almost a Man" has a whole other struggle on his hands. He has been put down all his life by both his peers and his superiors. Although he has never stood up for himself, or what he believes in, Dave feels that he is a man. He doesn't feel he deserves to be "[talked] down to as though he were a little boy"(493). Determined to prove to the society around him that this is true, Dave buys a gun. He is trying to establish manhood with outside accoutrements and does not understand how, even with this powerful symbol of masculinity, he is still put down and ridiculed.Both boys are struggling with identity crises. Dave is floundering in the quandary of why society doesn't see him the way he sees himself and Sarty is struggling to determine how best to meet his own needs without betraying his family. The only crisis which can be resolved is Sarty's simply because Dave has set himself up into an impossible scenario. In order for Dave's conflict to be resolved he must change the opinions and beliefs of people outside himself. As we all know this is impossible, we can only change ourselves. It is even more difficult for Dave. He is black male in the society of the forties.A black male, at a time before the Civil rights movement, when blacks were thought of as inferior, was little more than a slave. Trying to set oneself up as a man, if one was black, in society at that time was...

Find Another Essay On Barn Burning

Barn Burning Essay

789 words - 3 pages Rosson 1Rosson 3Lauren RossonDr. SkeltonEnglish 13024 October 2013Character Analysis: "Barn Burning"In the short story "Barn Burning," by William Faulkner, Colonel Sartoris Snopes, "Sarty" is a young child who throughout our story plays with the feelings of betrayal of his family or living a life of lies. After being called to the stand in the courtroom that his father is being accused of arson, Sarty is to testify on his father's behalf and

Barn Burning Essay

509 words - 2 pages William Faulkner is concerned with the south and its problems with black slavery. The issues in Barn Burning deal with the conflict between father and son. The theme of this story focuses on justice. The boy, Sarty, objects to his father burning barns and wants people to be treated fairly. His father, Abner, believes his son should respect and support kin. Abner thinks family is right no matter what. Faulkner’s intent is to show that choosing

Barn Burning

623 words - 2 pages Barn BurningIn the story "Barn Burning" by William Faulkner, Sarty Snopes is the son who is in conflict with his father's opinions. Sarty's views on this conflict become evident as the work progresses. The effectiveness of Sarty's point of view is shown during his conflict with his father, and his internal conflict between staying loyal to his family and doing the moral thing. The views of Sarty are clearly shown throughout the story as

Barn Burning

791 words - 3 pages Barn Burning "Barn Burning" is a sad story because it very clearly shows the classical struggle between the "privileged" and the "underprivileged" classes. Time after time emotions of despair surface from both the protagonist and the antagonist involved in the story. This story outlines two distinct protagonists and two distinct antagonists. The first two are Colonel Sartoris Snopes ("Sarty") and his father Abner Snopes ("Ab

Barn Burning

1856 words - 7 pages Every person reaches a point in their lives when they must define themselves in relation to their parents. We all come through this experience differently, depending on our parents and the situation that we are in. For some people the experience comes very early in their lives, and can be a significant life changing experience. In William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning” Colonel Sartoris Snopes must decide either to stand with his father and compromise

Barn Burning Analysis

941 words - 4 pages frockcoat which had not been made for him, the voice harsh like tin and without heat like tin”(517) as if he is less than human. Fire symbolizes threat in “Barn Burning,” and it is a means of Snopes avenging others for power. Poor and powerless, turning to fire makes Snopes feels like he is in charge, even if it is only for one brief blazing moment. The expensive rug represents the life Snopes wishes for his family. He intentionally steps in “ fresh

Faulkner's "Barn Burning" Charactors

593 words - 2 pages Faulkner's "Barn Burning" involves the Snopes, a sharecropper family that has moved 12 times in the memory of the primary participant, Sarty. Sarty is the youngest of four children to Abner and Lennie Snopes. The older brother and twin sisters are not named. Also with the family is Lennie's sister, Lizzie. Of this family, Abner and Sarty are the most active, around whom the theme focuses. Also, the land owner, Major de-Spain, is the latest

Analysis of Barn Burning

857 words - 3 pages William Faulkner's story "Barn Burning" occurs in the fictive Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi. It is a story set in the 1930's, a decade of the Great Depression when social and economic problems existed. "Barn Burning" is a story about social inequality, in particular with the rich land owning family de Spain in contrast to the poor tenant farming ways of the Sartoris family. Abner is the father in the family. He is a cold deviant man

William Falukner's Barn Burning

2194 words - 9 pages is the only one brave enough in the story to stand up for what he believes is right. For these reasons this writer believes that Abner Snopes with his unconventionally if not questionable methods, is a real American Anti-Hero, and as such, if he is not worthy of praise, he at the very least cannot be dismissed as a simple villain. Works Cited Faulkner, W. "Barn Burning." (2013) Baym, N. (Ed.). The Norton Anthology of American literature. (Shorter 8th ed.). Vol. A. New York: Norton.

Barn Burning by William Faulkner

1806 words - 7 pages go on to succeed in literature after climbing over many obstacles in his life. When Faulkner writes his stories, he is able to convey what he wants the reader to learn from the story by being able to use many literary elements, however he likes to focus on two in particular in “Barn Burning,” which are Conflict and imagery. “Barn Burning” is a remarkable piece of literature, because when Faulkner wants to convey his major theme of loyalty, he is

William Faulkner And Barn Burning

1322 words - 5 pages . John Mays) Sarty Snopes in William Faulkner’s Barn Burning, explores these questions of human meaning, which ultimately classifies this modernistic short story. The dichotomy and differences between Sarty and Abner Snopes creates an undeniable tension within the character of Sarty, while he battles himself in order to decide which is more important: that which is right, or sticking to your own blood. The characters of Sarty and Abner embody the

Similar Essays

Barn Burning Essay 605 Words

605 words - 2 pages The Differences between Abner and Sarty In the short story "Barn Burning", William Faulkner tells the story about the conditions of the wealthy and the poor working class during the Civil War reconstruction. Times are hard and conditions are not improving for the future. William Faulkner uses the themes of oppression in the story of the Snopes family. The Snopes family is poor white tenant farmers. Among the Snopes family, is Abner Snopes

Barn Burning Essay 616 Words

616 words - 2 pages the scenes not depicted through Sarty's view, it could be taken as omniscient point of view. For instance, at the end of the story when Sarty cries : " He was brave! He was! He was in the war!.. ", he does not know that his father had gone to that war not to defend the integrity, the flag or something, but just for booty.The name of the story is " barn burning" and the story begins with the word " barn". Denotatively " barn" is defined as a

Barn Burning Essay 591 Words

591 words - 2 pages Angelou Palma 2/8/13 ENG 120Barn BurningWilliam Faulkner's "Barn Burning" deals with the theme of morality and family. The story deals with inner turmoil Sarty Snopes faces as he decides what is wrong and right. Throughout the story, Sarty must continually make the choice of going along with or going against the actions of his father. Sarty's father values blood and loyalty over the law and Sarty's conscience struggles to conform with those

Barn Burning Essay

789 words - 3 pages Rosson 1Rosson 3Lauren RossonDr. SkeltonEnglish 13024 October 2013Character Analysis: "Barn Burning"In the short story "Barn Burning," by William Faulkner, Colonel Sartoris Snopes, "Sarty" is a young child who throughout our story plays with the feelings of betrayal of his family or living a life of lies. After being called to the stand in the courtroom that his father is being accused of arson, Sarty is to testify on his father's behalf and