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The "Barn Burning" by William Faulkner is brief story that is set deep in the American South just after the conclusion of the civil war. The story of the book is based on the different categories of human society (Rich and Poor), the unhealthy domineering influence of a father on a child and revenge and its consequences. The story is based on two main characters of the father Abner Snopes, and his son Sartoris Snopes (Sarty), who also plays a role of being the narrator. Abner Snopes is a disturbed deranged, impulsive individual with a penchant of burning barns of those that he feels have wronged him. Abner Snopes is war veteran from the American Civil War with a lot of built-up rage and hatred against society in general. Theses feelings of hurt, distrust and hatred one would feel, originated from the time he spent in the Army and the disappointing conclusion of the war. It left him very poor and distraught, making it difficult for him to provide for his family. Abner Snopes who used to steal horses is very abusive to his entire family including his son Sartoris Snopes. (Scott, 2009)

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The Novel starts with Abner Snopes and his family being chased out of town for allegedly burning down someone's farm. The only reason why Abner Snopes is not arrested and severely punished for his crime is simply because there is no proof. Starting life afresh in Major de Spain's farm, Abner Snope finds work there as a farm hand. One day as he is working on the farm he finds horse droppings on the rug, which he is ordered by his landlord and employer to clean. Abner Snopes returns the cleaned rug to his employer whose is dissatisfied with the results. Major de Spain in turn fines Abner Snopes for the poor work and this in turn enrages Abner making him conspire to set his employer's farm on fire. As his accomplice in many of there missions Sartoris Abner (Sarty), is aware of what his father is intending to do, and he warns Major de Spain of his father's intentions. After that Sarty flees, for he very well knows the consequences of his actions. (Scott, 2009)


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The story of the "Barn Burning" is a typical William Faulkner story in that it's narrated and seen from the perspective of a third party. The Temperature and tone of the story is memorable and 'momentous', and 'Emotional' (Barn Burning Analysis, 2010). Sarty Snope is greatly affected by his fathers anti social activities, they affect him in a very negative, sad way in that he most of the time shows little or no emotion, he sees nothing, feels nothing, and sees nothing. The theme of the "Barn Burning" seems to be grand, is seems to be momentous, thus giving the reader the impression that something big is about to happen. [Shmoop, 2010]. The style of writing of this writing can best be described as being poetic in that the author gives an emotional tone that arouses our senses and at the same time he is able to narrate the story in organized systematic manner. Some settings in the novel may seem ambiguous or in-comprehensible, but this is simply the writer's poetic way of describing the setting or scene. William Faulkner uses long sentences and phrases to describe a scene or a setting that encourages the reader to visualize the scene or character, and go through the exact motions with the character in the story.

These powerful presentations further encourage the reader to fully utilize their imagination and their intuitions enabling them to envision the settings, character, tone, mood etc. of the story, thus further enjoying their reading. (Barn Burning Analysis, 2010) Sarty exemplifies a mature spirit that is reflected in his difficult but necessary decision at the end of the story that of warning Major de Spain of his fathers intentions. Sarty Snope is wary of his father's antisocial activities and that is the reason why he decides to make the very difficult decision of warning Major de Spain of his father's intentions. 

The lesson that can be derived from the story of the 'Barn Burning' is that  sometimes in life one is forced to make hard decisions between doing what is right and what is wrong even though they may carry some very serious consequences, and even though your action may affect the lives of those closest or related to you. Making the right decision is the key. (Scott, 2009)

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