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Analysis of Barn Burning Essay

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William Faulkner's story "Barn Burning" occurs in the fictive Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi. It is a story set in the 1930's, a decade of the Great Depression when social and economic problems existed. "Barn Burning" is a story about social inequality, in particular with the rich land owning family de Spain in contrast to the poor tenant farming ways of the Sartoris family.

Abner is the father in the family. He is a cold deviant man. His family is constantly moving around because of the violent crimes he commits. This creates external conflict between Abner and de Spain. Out of this argument arises Sarty's argument, that deals with sticking to both his morals and loyal ties to his family.

Abner has been tried once before for the burning of Mr. Harris' barn. This might have been Abner raging against economic inequality. He is a poor white tenant farmer with a large family (his wife, her sister and his three children). Sarty is a small young and untidy little boy who is very scared and intimidated by his father. Although, he knows right and wrong, he tries to show loyalty to his father,. This creates an internal conflict with Sarty. His name symbolizes William Faulkner's fictional character, Colonel John Sartoris who is a civil war hero. His morals are tried when he almost has to testify in the first court scene. Abner know how Sarty is and tries to convince him that he needs to back him up always. "You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain't going to have any blood to stick to you." Sarty's inner conflict deepens the day his brother and his father create an emotional bond with him by allowing him to participate in hanging out in the town with them, symbolizing his entry into manhood.

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...er to better express the theme of the story. Sarty observed how violently his father acted against those who had a better life than him. Their property was destroyed and people's lives were hurt, but in Abner's eyes it was the right action to take. He was used to fighting to get what he wanted.

The theme of the story is dealing with social inequity, class distinction and economic inequality of the 1930's in the right manner. In this story, Abner revolted against the injustice. Sarty dealt with the situation by sticking with his moral beliefs. He believed that violence and revenge was not the way to create justice. He believed that in the end justice would prevail, and eventually with the economic relief after the Great Depression, it did. and it is easier to speak in the point of view of the good person instead of the cruel ways and thinking of Abner.



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