Barn Burning By William Faulkner Essay

1341 Words Mar 1st, 2016 null Page
Family, Justice, and Identity

A ten-year-old boy who has faced a lifetime of running, hiding and witnessing injustice that his father has created is now being called to testify in court. Will he do as he was taught in order to preserve his family ties, and his father’s innocence? Or will he tell the truth, thereby forever jeopardizing the relationship he has with his father, but potentially ending the fugitive lifestyle that he has grown all too accustomed to? This describes more than the opening scene of “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner, it can be used to describe a more meaningful conflict, the conflict between doing the right thing and maintaining loyalty to one’s family. This short story illustrates that concept as it is being tested over and over again. “Barn Burning” is set in rural Southern America in the late 1800’s and the story’s characters and their mannerisms are reminiscent of such a time period. The protagonist of the story is Colonel Sartoris Snopes, referred to as “Sarty” for the rest of the work. His father is Abner Snopes, a controlling figure that’s past is not directly stated, but it is also not hard for the reader to infer. Other characters important to the plot are Sarty’s mother and sisters who are frightened of Abner as well. This short story is a work that can bring to light a dilemma that family’s can face all around the world. “Barn Burning” highlights the internal conflict of man between seeking justice and protecting those that he loves…

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