Barn Burning Study Guide

Welcome to Faulkner’s Barn Burning study guide! Here, you will find relevant information regarding this iconic short story. You will learn about the plot, the genre, the characters, as well as Barn Burning by Faulkner’s themes and symbols. All of that will allow you to understand Barn Burning’s meaning on a deeper level.

Barn Burning Key Facts

Full Name Barn Burning
Author William Faulkner
Genre Short Story
Date of Publishing 1939
Setting (Time) Approximately the 1890s
Setting (Place) The first part happens in the southern United States. The second part is set in rural Yoknapatawpha County in the state of Mississippi.

Barn Burning Articles

Barn Burning: Summary & Analysis

William Faulkner’s short story Barn Burning is not his most celebrated work. However, it is a significant one because it precedes in time The Snopes Trilogy. In the article, you’ll see Barn Burning’s summary and analysis that will help you understand the story better.

Barn Burning: Characters

This article focuses on William Faulkner’s use of characters in the short story Barn Burning. To understand this work, one needs to examine the main and the secondary characters in it carefully.

Barn Burning: Themes

Barn Burning by William Faulkner is considered one of his best works. In this short story, the writer traces traumatic events experienced by a young boy, Sartoris. This article explores two significant Barn Burning’s themes: loyalty and morality and resentment and race.

Barn Burning: Symbols

In William Faulkner’s Barn Burning, symbolism helps the reader to understand certain emotions and relations in the story. However, in this article, we will focus only on two significant symbols: fire and blood.

Barn Burning: Essay Topics & Samples

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

Historical Context of Barn Burning

Faulkner’s Barn Burning examines the boy’s struggle with loyalty to his family and commitment to his inner sense of justice. The society in which Sarty grows up cannot be more divided. Barn Burning’s text brilliantly depicts the American South after the Civil War. As the country tries to recover from poverty and get rid of slavery, Sarty’s family is placed in the middle of the economic and class struggle. Even though the time is not clearly defined, the reader can guess that the story takes place in the early 1890s.

Abner Snopes, the head of the family, feels angry and bitter towards the system. His family faced harsh realities that are almost as bad as slavery. For that reason, Abner feels deep hatred towards the rich whites and the poor blacks. His position in society is not much different from the ex-slaves, and it makes him search for vengeance and take justice into his own hands. Barn Burning depicts very well the patriarchal society that existed at that time. Faulkner doesn’t develop female characters in the story, simply showing them. Instead, he is interested in highlighting the conflict between the father and the son, the new and the old South. The climax of the story happens when Sarty breaks free from the family and runs to de Span’s mansion. He is the only family member who gained independence. However, as it usually happens in American literature, freedom comes with its price.

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