Abner and Sarty Snopes in Barn Burning


Length: 637 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Abner and Sarty Snopes


The nature of the relationship between father and son in William Faulkner's Barn Burning is displayed in the first paragraph of the story. In general a father-son relationship would be built on genuine respect, love, loyalty, and admiration. These building blocks were absent in Abner and Sarty Snopes relationship. Sarty's loyalty to his father appeared to come from a long time fear of the consequences of not obeying his father's commands. The "nigger" that could place the blame on Abner was not to be found. Was Faulkner inferring by this statement that the individual had been killed? If Abner had so little moral value to destroy a man's property, surely to protect himself from persecution he could destroy a man's life.

Sarty knew he "smelled cheese, and more." He smelled the "fierce pull of blood." His father's blood, the blood of the family name, Snopes. Sarty knew he was also the son of the "barn burner." A name he heard hissing as they passed by boys in town. Sarty fought to defend his father and when hurt, he seemed to need the blood to remain for a while as a reminder of why he stayed with the man. Sarty viewed his father at times as "bloodless" and cut from "tin." Sarty could usually convince himself why his father was this way. The fact that he had to be a horse trader for four years hiding from the blue and the gray armies to exist by stealing or "capturing" as he called it, horses.

Was Sarty to become a man like his father? It seems to be the fear that Sarty may have worried about many times. Young boys usually acquire the desire at sometime in their life to simulate their fathers'actions, perspectives on life and mannerisms. Fathers are examples to how they would like their sons to be. Abner probably thought it was the only way to be.

Abner's past was not Sarty's, his future was not to be Sarty's either. For their views on life and the people in it were quite different. Abner Snopes looked at the mansion of Major de Spain as a symbol of inequality. A fact that he had too much and Abner had so little . Sarty looked at the vast mansion as a picturesque scene of "the grove of oaks and cedars and flowering trees and shrubs" almost as if it was a rerun of something he had was coming to him.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Abner and Sarty Snopes in Barn Burning." 123HelpMe.com. 24 Nov 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=5635>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on Sarty Snopes’ Struggle for Freedom: William Faulkner's Barn Burning - “Barn Burning” first appeared in print in Harper’s Magazine in 1939 (Pinion). It is a short story by William Faulkner which depicts a young boy in crisis as he comes to realize the truth about his father’s pyromania. Faulkner takes the reader inside the boy’s life as he struggles to remain loyal to his unstable father. In the end the boy’s courage and sense of justice wins and he not only walks away from his father’s iron clad control over his life, but he is able to warn his father’s next victim....   [tags: Pyromaniac, Innate Goodness]
:: 5 Works Cited
1793 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Southern Social Themes of Barn Burning Essay examples - Written as it was, at the ebb of the 1930s, a decade of social, economic, and cultural tumult, the decade of the Great Depression, William Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning" may be read and discussed in our classrooms as just that--a story of the '30s, for "Barn Burning" offers students insights into these years as they were lived by the nation and the South and captured by our artists. This story was first published in June of 1939 in Harper's Magazine and later awarded the 0. Henry Memorial Award for the best short story of the year....   [tags: Barn Burning Essays] 2222 words
(6.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Barn Burning: Family vs. Morality - Barn Burning: Family vs. Morality  The theme of Faulkner's "Barn Burning" is Sarty Snopes's desire to break away from the oppressive conditions of his family life. Sarty gains this freedom when he decides to warn the de Spains because his father's violation of his own sort of morality liberates him from what he calls the "pull of blood," or duty to his family.   The narrator describes Sarty's father, Abner Snopes, as such: "There was something about his wolf-like independence and even courage ....   [tags: Barn Burning Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
551 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Southern Masculinities in Faulkner’s The Unvanquished and Barn Burning - Southern Masculinities in Faulkner’s The Unvanquished and Barn Burning The youthful protagonists of The Unvanquished and "Barn Burning," Bayard Sartoris and Sarty Snopes respectively, offer through their experiences and, most importantly, the way their stories are told, telling insights about the constructions of southern masculinities with respect to class. The relative innocence that each of the boys has in common, though ultimately loses, provides a record of sorts to the formation of the impressions that shape their young lives and their early conceptions of what it means to be a man....   [tags: Faulkner’s Unvanquished Barn Burning] 1480 words
(4.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on The Creation of Abner Snopes in William Faulkner's Barn Burning - The Creation of Abner Snopes in William Faulkner's Barn Burning   William Faulkner's "Barn Burning" is an intriguing story about a young boy named Colonel Sartoris's (Sarty) love and hatred for his father, Abner Snopes. Ab is a brutal and frightening man who instills fear into whom ever he seems to be close to. What is the cause of Abner Snopes's cruel-heartedness. Maybe it's his alienation from the higher class in society that causes him to act in this manner. When such a separation occurs in a community one can feel that he doesn't belong and because he does not belong that the only way the higher class will give him the time of day is if the person acts out and tries to prove that he do...   [tags: Faulkner Barn Burning Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1252 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Initiation of Sarty into Manhood in "Barn Burning" Essay - The central theme in William Faulkner's "Barn Burning" is initiation and morality. Young Colonel Sartoris "Sarty" Snopes is confronted with the conflict between loyalty to his family and to honor and justice. Emphasis on family loyalty becomes apparent immediately at the opening of the story, when Sarty is already feeling the "old fierce pull of blood" (400). In front of a Justice of the Peace in a makeshift courtroom, Sarty is already aware that everyone in the court room is not only his father's enemy, but his own as well: ."..our enemy he thought in that despair; ourn....   [tags: American Literature] 560 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
William Faulkner’s Barn Burning: Abner Snopes Character Analysis Essay - William Faulkner’s short story “Barn Burning” describes a typical relationship between wealthy people and poor people during the Civil War. The main character, Abner Snopes, sharecrops to make a living for his family. He despises wealthy people. Out of resentment for wealthy people, he burns their barns to get revenge. Abner’s character over the course of the story is unchanging in that he is cold hearted, lawless, and violent. First, Abner’s unchanging character shows his cold heartedness. After being sentenced to leave the country for burning a man’s barn, he shows no emotions to his family....   [tags: Essays on Barn Burning]
:: 3 Works Cited
1045 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
William Faulkner's Barn Burning Essay - William Faulkner's Barn Burning William Faulkner, recognized as one of the greatest writers of all time, once made a speech as he accepted his Nobel prize for writing in which he stated that a great piece of writing should contain the truths of the heart and the conflicts that arise over these truths. These truths were love, honor, pity, pride, compassion and sacrifice. Truly it would be hard to argue that a story without these truths would be considered even a good story let alone a great one....   [tags: Faulkner Barn Burning]
:: 1 Works Cited
1247 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Character in William Faulkner's Barn Burning - 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)....   [tags: Barn Burning Essays] 595 words
(1.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Analysis of Barn Burning by William Faulkner Essay - Michael Meyer suggests that the description of the de Spain mansion in paragraph 41 of "Barn Burning" reveals Sarty's conflict. What does this mansion represent in Sarty's mind. How does that symbolism conflict with Sarty's being loyal to his father. The description of the house helps to frame the main conflicts that Sarty had with his father by making sure that you (the reader) know that this is the first time that Sarty has seen anything like this house. It causes his feelings of happiness to flow from him, and he feels that nothing that his father could do could destroy the place that he sees, as he thinks in paragraph 41 about "the spell of this place and dignity renderin...   [tags: Barn Burning Essays] 1202 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches




Making sure not to give more than he had. Sarty reached for the positive in life the beauty of a day and the chance to be a better man than his father. He wanted to be a man of truth as seen when he told his father, he would have told the Justice of the Peace that his father had burned Mr. Harris' barn. This would have been a complete denial of any inherited traits from his father. Abner Snopes would not tell the truth if it meant he would suffer or be punished. He thought that he had paid the price of the war and now was his time to seek what was his. To him any man that would cross him and take him to court would be forever sorry. Abner took to the same treatment time and again and burned the barn of Major de Spain. This violent act of rage against this man and the area that Sarty loved would bring him to a deciding point in his young life.

He had to decide to go on protecting his father, or to make a break to live as he thought, suffering from which would certainly be isolation and regrets for a while. He made the break he had come to the point in life where he was becoming his own man.


Return to 123HelpMe.com