Barn Burning: Essay Topics & Samples

If you are looking for fresh Barn Burning topics, prompts, and essay examples, then you are in the right place. Here you will find plenty of excellent writing ideas and a list of samples that will help you get started on the right note.

Keep reading to get inspired to write an excellent Barn Burning essay.

Essay Topics

  1. Father and son relationship in Barn Burning.
    The Snopes family is the focus of the short story Barn Burning by Faulkner. However, only the father-son relationship is described. What causes the conflict between them? What worldviews do both of them represent? Try to characterize Abner as a father and Sarty as a son in your Barn Burning essay.
  2. Racial struggle in Barn Burning.
    How does the author describes class, racial, and social turmoil in the story? Look through Barn Burning and find examples of racial slurs that represent the legacy of the Old South. Did the New South change that much compared to the South in terms of race? Elaborate on your views.
  3. Resentment in Barn Burning by Faulkner.
    Talk about the reasons for Abner’s resentment. Is it only his economic status or something else? Also, describe how it manifests on different occasions and what he decides to do about it. Do other characters in the story have resentment issues?
  4. A question of loyalty in Barn Burning
    The theme of loyalty is one of the most crucial in the entire story. Sarty chooses to stay loyal to his sense of justice or be faithful to his blood. You can try to analyze how the boy’s thoughts shift throughout the story.
  5. American dream in Barn Burning.
    How does the writer describe the poverty and wealth in the story? What are the possessions of the Snopes? Compare them with the de Spain’s possessions. Is America in Faulkner’s story described as the land of justice and opportunity?
  6. The tone of Faulkner’s Barn Burning.
    What is the overall tone of the short story? How does Sarty describe his family and his sisters in particular? Also, elaborate on how the narrator describes Sarty’s emotions and feelings. What tone does it set for the entire story? The reader might get an impression that the whole family is at war. Is it true?
  7. The point of view in Barn Burning.
    Comment on the narrator’s point of view in the story. What type of technique Faulkner used regarding the narrative voice? Explore what effect this technique allows him to achieve. Does the narrator know everything, or is his perspective still limited?
  8. The meaning of the fire in Barn Burning.
    The symbolism of fire is essential for understanding the story. First, dwell on the reasons why Abner uses fire to serve justice. What does fire usually represent? You can also discuss what fire means for Sarty. Pay attention to his words when he talks about campfires.
  9. Sarty’s internal struggle.
    The boy’s fight for independence is an important theme. Why does he want to break away so much? Describe what type of conflicts are present in Sarty’s internal struggle. Pay attention to the stages he goes through, from conformity to independence from his father.
  10. The purpose of introducing the court hearings into the story.
    What do the court hearings in Barn Burning stand for? Do they represent justice or something else? Abner feels that the Justices’ decisions are unjust. So, he takes justice into his own hands. Does it make the first hearing the main catalyst of the events that followed?

Essay Samples

Here you will find several helpful and well-written essay samples. They can not only give you some inspiration of what to write but also provide you with a clear direction and understanding on some of the Barn Burning topics. If you’re in a hurry, you can apply a story summarizer to any of these examples to quickly get the gist of every paper.

  1. Literary Analysis of “A Rose for Emily” by W. Faulkner
    This essay deals with a different short story from the same author. It uncovers a lot about the techniques Faulkner employed in his writing. As this author’s style is not the easiest, it may be helpful to check out explanations of literary devices he used.
  2. “Rose for Emily” and “Barn Burning” Comparison
    After the previous essay sample, read this one to see the two stories compared. Learn what themes William Faulkner implemented in both of them and how characters suffer from the consequences of their actions. Besides, the essay examines the overall setting of the stories and their influence on the atmosphere and tone.
  3. “Barn Burning” Short Story by William Faulkner
    William Faulkner’s Barn Burning highlights the significance of fathers in raising their children. In this essay, you’ll see a general overview of the story. You will also find an analysis of the relationship between Sarty (the son) and Abner Snopes (his father). Read this Barn Bunning essay and get a clear understanding of the short story.
  4. Father-Son Relationships in Barn Burning by William Faulkner
    The relationship between the father and the son in Barn Burning is full of tension and controversies. What are the roots of misunderstandings in a family? Read this essay and get a clear explanation.
  5. Women in Barn Burning by William Faulkner
    Barn Burning describes the life of an American family of the late 19th century. At that time, the position of women in society was very different from what it is now. Look through this essay to learn about gender inequality and social injustice in the post-Civil War conditions in the USA.
  6. The Symbolism of Blood in Barn Burning by William Faulkner
    What comes to your mind when you think of blood? Death and crime? Or maybe strong family ties? Blood can symbolize a wide variety of things. But what does it represent in Barn Burning by William Faulkner? Read this paper to find out.
  7. Sarty Snopes Character Analysis
    Sarty Snopes is the protagonist of Barn Burning. He is a ten-year-old boy who is torn between loyalty to his father and disgust for him. What is the reason for Sarty’s concerns and inner conflict? Check out this essay and get an in-depth analysis of Sarty’s personality.
  8. Abner Snopes and Major de Spain as Figures of Authority in Faulkner’s Barn Burning
    Abner Snopes and Major de Spain are two characters of Barn Burning that hold power in their hands. However, they are people of different social statuses and environments. See how authority affects their personalities and their interactions with the surrounding people in this essay.
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