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Essay about Character in William Faulkner's Barn Burning

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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 can...


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