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

Character In William Faulkner's Barn Burning

640 words - 3 pages

Character in William Faulkner's Barn Burning

The use of concise imagery and brilliant description in William Faulkner's "Barn Burning" gives depth and familiarity to his two main characters. It is the poignant story of a boy's inner struggle between his inherent sense of right and the constricting bonds of blood which tie him to his evil, domineering father and pathetic family. Faulkner often attributes to his characters animal-like qualities or compares them to elements of the earth (that he loves and knows so well). The villain is a chilling figure; the hero is quiet and likable, and certainly more impressive that the other members of his family.

Snopes, the father, is a character drawn in hard, dramatic terms. He is small, but wiry and strong; his appearance is harsh and savage. Faulkner's repeated references to Snopes' facial features ("the harsh level stare beneath the shaggy, graying, irascible brows"), his dark manner of dress, and his heavy, deliberate walk combine to present a foreboding figure of a man who strikes out in darkness against those he cannot dominate. The reader never seem Snopes without the "wide, flat, black hat, the stiff black coat" that weren't made for him (and was probably stolen). Snopes' singleness of purpose, driven by "ravening and jealous rage," is reflected in his heavy arrogant stride that seems to "bear twice, the weight which the body compassed." His deliberate soiling of De Spains' rug further illustrates his rebellious disrespect and contempt for those who enjoy better circumstances than his own.

Sarty is "small and wiry like his father," with "eyes gray and wild as a storm scud." By contrast, his father's eyes are extremely cold and "pebble-colored." Sarty is an obedient and respectful son, but at ten, with growing...

Find Another Essay On Character in William Faulkner's Barn Burning

Transformation Into Adulthood in William Faulkner's story, "Barn Burning"

786 words - 3 pages In William Faulkner's story, "Barn Burning", we find a young man who struggleswith the relationship he has with his father. We see Sarty, the young man, develop into anadult while dealing with the many crude actions and ways of Abner, his father. We seeSarty as a puzzled youth who faces the questions of faithfulness to his father orfaithfulness to himself and the society he lives in. His struggle dealing with the reactionswhich are caused by his

The Character Puzzle - Barry Hannah's "Water Liars," Raymond Carver's "Cathedral," and William Faulkner's "Barn Burning"

1900 words - 8 pages uniform, admitting the authority of and giving fidelity to no man or army or flag, going to war as Malbrouck himself did" (Faulkner 2189). The protagonist in "Barn Burning" is a poor uneducated adolescent known as Sarty Snopes. He is conflicted between the knowledge of "right from wrong" and loyalty to his father. Started by the boy's inner conflictions caused by his pa's psychological inhibitions, the boy becomes a round character. His father has

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

Character Development in "Barn Burning" by William Faulkner

1385 words - 6 pages "Barn Burning", by William Faulkner describes the development of Colonel Sartoris Snopes (Sarty) with his coming to manhood and the concomitant rejection of his father (Mr Snopes). From the beginning of the story, we witness the growing conflict between the two characters which is identified from the beginning of the text with the boy's anxiety in the courthouse. Nevertheless, through this latent emotional (and physical) rebellion, what the boy

William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily and Barn Burning

1207 words - 5 pages Symbolism in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily and Barn Burning If we compare William Faulkner's two short stories, 'A Rose for Emily' and 'Barn Burning', he structures the plots of these two stories differently. However, both of the stories note the effect of a father¡¦s teaching, and in both the protagonists Miss Emily and Sarty make their own

The Relationship Between Father And Son in William Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning"

1359 words - 5 pages Normally in life, you look up to your father to be the care taker and to encourage you to make your own decisions on what is right and what is wrong. You figure your father should have your best interest at heart and to show compassion for you. In William Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning," Abner is the opposite of the normal father figure you would see. Rather than

Playing with Fire: Life Altering Decisions in Faulkner's "Barn Burning,"

1015 words - 5 pages At one point or another in life, everyone has to make decisions that change one's life forever. Usually one encounters an event or a thing that propels such a decision. In William Faulkner's short story, "Barn Burning," Sarty, a young boy, is going through a period of initiation into adult life. During this process, he has to make a life altering decision. For Sarty, his father's fires become the element that plays many roles and eventually

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.

William Faulkner’s Barn Burning: Abner Snopes Character Analysis

1032 words - 4 pages William Faulkner’s short story “Barn Burning” describes a typical relationship between wealthy people and poor people during the Civil War. The main character, Abner Snopes, sharecrops to make a living for his family. He despises wealthy people. Out of resentment for wealthy people, he burns their barns to get revenge. Abner’s character over the course of the story is unchanging in that he is cold hearted, lawless, and violent. First

Barn Burning by William Faulkner

1373 words - 6 pages William Faulkner is a writer from Mississippi. Faulkner is a very famous writer with most of his most famous works being short stories. Two of his most popular short stories are “A rose for Emily” along with “Barn Burning”. Faulkner has many other popular works, but “Barn Burning” was one of his well-known stories because of the many different of elements of literature in which Faulkner chose to include. Faulkner was known as a writer who could

Barn Burning by William Faulkner

1806 words - 7 pages situation during that part of the story. William Faulkner lived during a time period where literary critics label it the modernist era. This is in part because of the two world wars that Faulkner had lived through and all of the changes southern America was going through. Faulkner’s writing was influenced by where he was from and the ethics of the south in the 1900s. When William Faulkner published his short story “Barn Burning” in “Harpers

Similar Essays

Character Study On Sarty In William Faulkner's "Barn Burning"

765 words - 3 pages In William Faulkner's 1939 short story "Barn Burning", Sarty is a young boy who is at the mercy of his overbearing father Abner. Sarty is oppressed, naive and has a strong sense of right and wrong. Abner is a poor man who gets his revenge on anyone who he believes has cheated him is some way. His revenge is barn burning. Sarty knows that this is wrong and struggles with the realities of life. If he tells on Abner who will care for the family? If

A Father's Legacy In William Faulkner's Barn Burning

1081 words - 4 pages A Father's Legacy in William Faulkner's Short Story "Barn Burning" The cruel dominance of a father, can extinguish any flame of hope that builds in the people around him. In William Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning," Abner is that father. The story portrays a nomadic life of a family driven from one home to another. Abner had a craving hunger to belittle those around him that thought they were "better than him." Although the family

Sarty's Conflict In William Faulkner's &Quot;Barn Burning&Quot;

1040 words - 4 pages Sarty's Conflict William Faulkner's "Barn Burning" provides an excellent example of how conflicting loyalties can affect decisions. In Faulkner's story, the main character, Sarty, faces such a dilemma. On one hand, Sarty has the morals that society has instilled in him in spite of his father. One the other hand, Sarty has the loyalty to his father because of the blood ties shared between them and the fact that his father raised and

Sarty's Reliability As Narrator In William Faulkner's "Barn Burning"

955 words - 4 pages Sarty even in his adult years. He is naturally biased in his portrayal of Abner as a cold and domineering figure because he still holds him accountable for his indiscretions.As Ford points out in her essay "Narrative Legerdemain: Evoking Sarty's Future in 'Barn Burning', in a later work Faulkner uses the character of V.K. Ratliff to describe Abner in a more favorable light (5). This reverse portrayal of Abner Snopes is indicative of Faulkner's