Rate this paper
  • Currently rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
4.80 / 5
Paper Topic:

Faulkner: Barn Burning




March 14 , 2008

Barn Burning ' by William Faulkner

William Faulkner 's story entitled Barn Burning ' is a depiction of social , psychological , and spiritual morality in the situation of the society . The author combined the personal and spiritual perspective in a larger but detailed idea . The way he justified his thoughts showed that this story was not just a simple way to entertain the readers but also to give them the knowledge of family and religious values . Faulkner carefully analyzes his point of attack in his story

. He showed that Sarty is a depiction of morality and truth while Abner is a representation of ruthless judgments and unjust situations . The story illustrated the difference the father and the son but brought them together as one because of their importance with their family . From this case , Faulkner illustrated the relationship of father and son to shape his story into a spiritual and moral narrative

In the opening scene of the story , the narrator described the setting and the ambiance of the court . He did not actually focus his attention on the details of the location - the chairs , the tables , the faces of the crowd , and the color ' of the setting as a whole . He already started to present the situations of the characters - Abner , Sarty , Mr Harris , and the Justice . However , the narrator did not give the names of the characters in this part . They were abstract constructions that could not able to identify because they were noted through their social characterization - father , son , and neighbor

One of the most significant images that exist in this part is the cheese . At first , it is a confusing element because the author used cheese while the setting is a courtroom . This is the smell of Sarty . It signifies the freshness of the character . It is also a representation of untainted thoughts and personality . The boy , crouched on his nail keg at the back of the crowded room , knew he smelled cheese (Faulkner Sarty accepted the fact that he is new and innocent . Despite of the fact that he is a colonel , he is pure and simple as what the narrator described and discussed

"Hey " the Justice said "Talk louder . Colonel Sartoris ? I reckon anybody named for Colonel Sartoris in this country can 't help but tell the truth , can they " The boy said nothing . Enemy ! Enemy ! He thought for a moment he could not even see (Faulkner ' This part of the story is the same as Christ 's interrogation in front of Herodes . From this point , Faulkner started to unleash his spiritual point of view . The way Faulkner presented this scenario was Christ 's period . In this sense , it was shown that Sarty represents Christ 's character . Traditionally , critics approach Faulkner from a biographical perspective , a geographic /historical perspective , or a psychological perspective . In this article the writer recognizes that Faulkner 's work parallels important spiritual issues (Zender , 52 Zender stated that Faulkner made such attachments to his own perspective as a person and not just a writer in this story . It shows that Faulkner wanted to obtain morality in every piece that he creates

On the other way around , Sarty 's father is an escapist character . Along with his acceptance of his situation , he wanted to flee from his sin for the fact that he does not want people took what has remained from him - little dignity and pride . These aspects are the only things that he could treasure while he is alive . His father spoke for the first time his voice cold and harsh , level , without emphasis "I aim to . I don 't figure to stay in a country among people who " he said something unprintable and vile , addressed to no one (Faulkner ' Abner is a depiction of a human being . He is a weak but arrogant man that we usually encounter in our daily lives

If Sarty is the character of Christ , Abner is the man . He always took his pride and dignity along with him that is why God and man broke their bond in the beginning of creation . This is because of man 's unpredicted pride . Abner wanted to obtain humanistic material because he has nothing to have - only his wife and child . It is the same with human 's perspective in life . Everyone can steal everything from a person , but they could not take its dignity and pride because it lies within the person 's soul . Faulkner showed Abner 's character as a faulty and inhuman individual . He wanted to show the irony of man and Christ throughout his story . That is why issues like this started to emerge slowly and deeply within the relationship of the father and son

In William Faulkner 's seminal work "Barn Burning " he presents a deep , multifaceted character in Abner Snopes and leaves him up to the reader to interpret and judge (Pinion ' Randy Pinion justified Faulkner 's claim . He saw what Faulkner is trying to convey in his story By way of showing the different sides of Abner , it can be seen that he is a man with many likes and dislikes . He is not contented with anything around him . He also has full of selfishness , arrogance , and aggravation because of his physical and financial situation . The thing here is that because Faulkner killed Abner in the story , he wanted his readers to identify the image and importance of Abner 's characterization and identity

Pinion also described Abner as Satan that Faulkner has identified in the story in to differentiate the identity of the two main characters throughout the narrative . Past such satanic trappings more is written on Faulkner 's of Snopes . Throughout the story , Abner is constantly referred to as "stiff (Pinion ' However despite of Faulkner 's identification of Abner 's character , this persona still became static . There is no transformation that occurred within Abner . He did the burning two times showing that there is no change that happened in him . Therefore , Faulkner did not choose to make his character Abner as a depiction of man transformed into a better individual and yet killed him at the end of the story

All throughout the narrative , the narrator illustrated different feelings through the characters . Sarty showed sadness fear , and madness towards and against his father and the people around him . Abner showed furiousness , sadness , insecurities , and jealousy . These emotions were seen in one or different situations of the story . In Faulkner 's Barn Burning ' Sarty , the son of Abner , spends the majority of the story in emotional confusion . Loyalty to his father causes him mixed emotions as to what is the right thing to do when dealing with his father 's barn burnings (Okrentowich ' Faulkner justified how a child should be despite of its father 's shortcomings . Even if everyone is against the parents , the child should stand for them no matter how hard it is . This is what Andrea Orkentowich has perceived in the story . The emotions of the characters helped the text to become more intense and untangled However , it was seen that Faulkner 's only way to solve the conflict was Abner 's death

One of the significant parts of the story is when Sarty offered his help towards his father . Don 't you want me to help ' he whispered His father did not answer and now he heard again that stiff foot striking the hollow portico with that wooden and clocklike deliberation that outrageous overstatement of the weight it carried (Faulkner Abner chose to become unpredictable because he knows that he is a sinner . He did not grab Sarty 's hands to be saved . He still soaks his body into his transgressions . Faulkner justified in this part that man would not change despite of the new path that they could choose to start a new life . They will always stay in the dark as what Abner has done

At the end of the story , Sarty and the other people were saved but Abner died . His breathing was easier now and he decided to get up and go on and then he found that he had been asleep because he knew it was almost dawn , the night almost over (Faulkner ' Sarty saved the barn but he did not save his father from death . Until the end of the story , Faulkner showed how Christ choose make his loved ones suffer for the benefit of many . From this statement of the narrator , it was seen that Sarty had a new beginning . He could not able to restore his father 's body but he could be able to restore his own life that he wished for a long time

In conclusion to this , the whole story discussed religious and moral perspective of the society in the eyes of Faulkner and his narrator . It has been justified that Faulkner used Sarty and Abner to illustrate how man and God works in different ways . From this case , it has been said that Sarty 's character focused more on how he and his father will become acceptable in their community and society as a whole . Abner on the other hand chooses to decline his life from his community and live alone but it did not happen . As the same with other analysts and critics of this story , they have already seen the deeper meaning and essence of the text - morality is a restoration of the body and soul of man

Works Cited

Faulkner , William (1938 . Barn Burning . 14 March 2008 . HYPERLINK "http /www .nku .edu peers /barnburning .htm http /www .nku .edu peers /barnburning .htm

Okrentowich , Andrea (2006 . Experience and Identity : An Analysis of Barn Burning by William Faulkner and Everyday Use by Alice Walker . 14 March 2008 . HYPERLINK "http /www .associatedcontent .com /article /79238 /experience_and_identity_ an_analysis .html ?page 2 http /www .associatedcontent .com /article /79238 /experience_and_identity_a n_analysis .html ?page 2

Pinion , Randy (n .d . Literary analysis : Faulkner 's `Barn Burning ' 14 March 2008 HYPERLINK "http /www .helium .com /items /103300-william-faulkners-seminal-burning http /www .helium .com /items /103300-william-faulkners-seminal-burning

Volpe , Edmond L . `Barn Burning : A Definition of Evil ' Faulkner : The Unappeased Imagination : A Collection of Critical Essays . Ed . Glenn O Carey . Troy , NY : Whitston , 1980 . 75-82

Zender , Karl F . Character and Symbol in `Barn Burning ' College Literature 16 .1

(Winter 1989 : 48-59



Name ...

Not the Essay You're looking for? Get a custom essay (only for $12.99)