• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

William Faulkners Barn Burning grimly tells the tale of Sarty, his selfish siblings and their pyromaniac father

Extracts from this document...


Hidden Messages within Titles It has often been said to never judge a book by its title, since this provides the reader with an initial introduction to the story. To Kill a Mockingbird, Bleak House and The Grapes of Wrath are classic examples of this testament. The title can either be straightforward and catchy, revealing all its contents to the reader, or filled with hidden layers and meaning that only become gradually apparent. William Faulkner?s ?Barn Burning? grimly tells the tale of Sarty, his selfish siblings and their pyromaniac father. Conflicts arise for the itinerant farmhands when Sarty is called to testify against his father for an alleged arson. The ten year old boy is then faced with a crippling dilemma of telling the truth or protecting his father. Throughout the story, Faulkner uses symbolism, imagery, and repetition to allude to the underlying theme of destruction. While the title ?Barn Burning? is deceiving to its audience, the destruction of family, crumbling relationship with son and reclaiming power is continually represented by the destruction of the burning barns. ...read more.


With each barn that is burnt, Sarty and his father?s relationship slowly die. A normal father-son relationship offers hope and inspiration, but Abner kills this for his children, especially Sarty who is the youngest of them. His older children, already exposed to their father destructive ways are used to the ruins that he leaves in his path. Abner?s destructive ways forces Sarty to choice between the truth and his family. ?He aims for me to lie? and I will have to do it? (Faulkner 207), shows the how conflicted Sarty is with his decision whether to save or turn his father in. Faulkner repeatedly makes blood references when showing the crumbling relationship between father and son. This is done in the courtroom ?the old fierce pull of blood? (Faulkner 206) indicating this is the only time Sarty has felt close to his father. It is also mentioned when Abner threatens Sarty with abandonment ?you?ve got to learn to stick to your Roach 3 own blood or you ain?t going to have any blood to stick to you? (Faulkner 210). ...read more.


?The element of fire spoke to some deep mainspring of his father?s being? as the one weapon for the preservation of integrity, else breath were not worth breathing? (Faulkner209). By using fire to destroy what he doesn?t have, he takes away some of the power they hold over him. Roach 4 The title ?Barn Burning? implies to the reader that a barn will be burnt. Yet upon further reading, it shows what the burning barn represents to the characters. Abner Snope?s obsession with fire is equal to his obsession with power and respect. He craves the attention and feeling of rebirth with each new burning, but he does not understand the damage he does to his family. While Sarty is able to leave his family destructive ways, the memory of how he left will be with him forever. He is now a young run-away, trying to survive as a poor, uneducated, unclothed white boy in the woods. While Abner might be physically gone, his influence and beliefs are already set in his older children to perhaps carry as his tradition and the memory of how Sarty betrayed his family and father will continue to haunt his future. . ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. William Faulkners A Rose for Emily is a Southern Gothic short story. A Rose ...

    In comparison the members of the Grierson family were also considered to be strong and powerful, and even the townspeople regarded them as regal. When Emily was the last Grierson standing after her fathers death she came to symbolize her family and in a sense the South's rich past.

  2. Gwen Harwood Barn Owl Commentary

    "I leaned my head upon/ my father's arm, and wept, / owl blind in early sun/ for what I had begun".

  1. In my opinion, Henry Jamess work The Turn of The Screw and William Faulkners ...

    Yet why? The reason could be book's distinctness from novel concept that people familiar with. Usually people are accustomed to reading books finishing with happy endings yet in Faulkner's work actually there is one event: mother dies and they try to bring her to Jefferson, it is just simple but Faulkner's style telling the story is not simple, clear.

  2. Discuss how good Atticus is as a father.

    which he never really overcame his resentment towards her, but further deepened it when witnessing her nasty fits. After she passes away, the children are surprised to hear Atticus praise her for the courage she showed when battling her morphine addiction, especially considering the pain she underwent to regain her lucidity before passing away.

  1. Analysis of "The verger" by William Somerset Maugham. (Text of story in Vietnamese).

    Albert Edward hÆ¡i ngạc nhiên khi thấy có cả hai uá»· viên quản lý tài sản của giáo há»i cÅ©ng có mặt trong Äó. Ông không há» trông thấy hai ngÆ°á»i này vào từ lúc nào. Há» nhã nhặn gật Äầu chào ông.

  2. Reflection of Society in the "Grapes of Wrath"

    ?The actions of Rose of Sharon breastfeeding an ailing man compares significantly with the actions by Jesus in the Bible to save the people on earth. Jesus, as it is widely known, helped those in need. He provided food for those hungry, provided cure for those ill, and provided guidance to those persecuted? (Ditsky).

  1. Moods, colors and people of the deep blue sea are portrayed in The Sound ...

    ?Taking off his raincoat, he felt in the pockets of his trousers for the matches that life at sea had taught him always to carry with him.?(p.71) 63. ?The pink shell was gleaming lustrously as though it might have been still wet with sea water.?(p.71)

  2. Female Rebellion in Handmaid's Tale

    Inspite of her accepting attitude towards her duty at the beginning of the book, Offred note worthily changes in the following chapters of the book.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work