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A Literary Analysis of "Barn Burning"

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:28 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 68.1 
  • Words: 1023
  • Essay Grade: 2,00 /5 (1 Graders)
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At first glance, the story “Barn burning” seems just to be about a tyrannical father and a son who is in the grips of that tyranny. I think Faulkner explores at least one important   philosophical question in this story were he asks at what point should a person make a choice between what his parent(s) and / or family believes and his own values?

        The main character and protagonist in this story is a boy named Colonel Sartoris. In this story, Sarty is faced with the decision of either going along with the views and actions of his morally challenged father or asserting his own morality and individuality by running away and leaving his family and his pain behind.

        The antagonist in the story is Abner Snobes. Abner Snobes is a very angry and inconsiderate man who has hate and detestation for almost anybody who is not “blood-kin”, and he portrays that hatred and contempt throughout the story (qtd. In Volpe 163).

        This story follows the typical format and is narrated in the third person. In the exposition, Faulkner’s skill as a writer is demonstrated through the way that he uses detail to draw the

readers into the story. Also, in the first paragraph we are introduced to the main character and protagonist in the story, Sarty. The setting in which Sarty’s conflict is established is a trial.   In the trial, the justice asks Sarty, “ I reckon any boy named for Colonel Sartoris in this country can’t help but tell the truth, can they” (qtd. in Meyer 482)?   This is the part of the story in which the readers can first get a sense of the moral dilemma that Faulkner is trying to portray in this story. Next, we are introduced to the antagonist, Abner Snobes, when he talks for the first time since the trial began. He also establishes the fact that he plans to move himself and his family out of town. We are then introduced to the rest of Sarty’s family.



Express your owns thoughts and ideas on this essay by writing a grade and/or critique.

  1. Kindly learn how to spell, please.
    • Oct 08, 2005 - Evaluator: (allankael)
    • Dear Sir: If you did in fact obtain an A on this paper as you claim, then your teacher must have been terribly desperate for someone to pass his/her class, for this paper--if one may call it such--is riddled with spelling errors. Titles are always capitalized, which half of "Barn Burning" is not, and Snopes is spelt with a 'p', not a b. Beyond that, it is a passable analysis of a much more complex story than you allow it to be; but it will do. Generally, literary analysis is written in third person, FYI.