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Barn Burning Analysis

941 words - 4 pages

Summary of central events: Mr. Snopes burns Mr. Harris barn because Mr. Harris charges him, “a dollar pound fee,” (515) for the return of his hog. In court the judge dismisses the charges against Snopes but warns him to leave the town for good and Snopes agrees to comply. The next day the family arrives at their new home. After Snopes tracks horse manure onto the expensive rug, the server instructs him to clean and return it. Snopes ruins the rug from improper cleaning and Major de Spain “charge[s] [him] twenty bushels of corn against [his] crop” (521). At the last court appearance the judge decides that Mr.Snopes has to pay Major de Spain 10 bushels of corn for the ruin of the rug. Because Snopes is upset from having to pay de Spain for the ruin of the rug, he attempts to burn Spain’s barn. Snopes has plan to burn de Spain barn. Sartoris runs to de Spain house, shouting “Barn” (525). Three shouts ring out and Snope was killed.
Protagonist : Because Sartoris is force to deal with issues of right and wrong he has to be more mature than an average ten-year old. “Your getting to be a man,” (517) Snopes replies after he strikes Sarty on the side of his head. Sarty is “round” and demonstrates growth and development throughout the story. He is uneducated but is willing to sacrifice his relationship with his family for justices and morality. Sartoris decides that the support that his family offers is something he can do without.
Point of View: The story is told from the third person omniscient point of view.
Setting: The setting takes place in the South during the early summer of the 1800s in a small country town. The courthouse is in a general store, “[t]he store in which the Justice of the Peace’s court…”(515). The dialect of Sartoris is of the south, “Lemme be, I tell you” (516).
Nature of conflict: The conflict is internal: between Sartoris and himself. Violence and conflict surrounds him “[h]is father [strikes] him with the flat of his hand on the side of head…” (517). He battles with decision making that is between his family and justices. Being overwhelm with despair, fear and grief, Sartoris eventually frees himself from his father and his oppressive family life.

Theme: The theme is standing for justices can sometimes lead to losing friends and family. Sartoris must decide which is more important loyal to family or loyalty to the law. According to Snopes, family loyalty is value above all else “[y]ou got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain’t going have any blood to stick to you” (517). Snopes bases his idea of loyalty on family notions of right and wrong. Sartoris rejects his father idea of family loyalty and instead betrays his...

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