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Barn Burning

Barn Burning


by William Faulkner

Barn Burning Characters

Meet the Cast

Colonel (Sarty) Sartoris Snopes

Ten-year-old Sarty is the extraordinary hero of "Barn Burning." Sarty's father forces him to help burn barns, and lie about it afterwards. Yet this boy has a distinct sense of justice. He might hav...

Abner Snopes

Abner is a terrifying figure. He controls his family with physical and psychological violence, and makes them accomplices in his favorite pastime: burning barns. "Barn Burning" focuses on the impac...

Lennie Snopes

Lennie is Sarty's mother and Abner's wife. Like Sarty, she lives in fear of Abner. Although she constantly tries to stop him from doing things that will bring suffering on the family, she never suc...

The Brother

Sarty's brother doesn't get much of a role in "Barn Burning." Until his brother speaks his first and only lines in the story, "Better tie [Sarty] up to the bedpost," all we know is that the older b...

The Sisters

Sarty's sisters are twins. We don't know how old they are. One of them seems to be named "Net," but Net might also be Sarty's aunt's name. It's not clear. In any case, Sarty doesn't seem to like th...

The Aunt

Sarty's aunt is his mother's sister. Her first name seems to be Lizzie, but Lizzie might be one of Sarty's sisters. It's not completely clear. In any case, she lives with the family. Except at nigh...

Major de Spain

Major de Spain is Abner's arch-nemesis in the story. He is Abner's employer and landlord after the family leaves the first county. Abner tracks poop on de Spain's rug, takes him to court, and burns...

Mr. Harris

Harris was the Snopes' neighbor at the beginning of the story, and a victim of Abner's barn burning. He initially wants to use Sarty as a witness against Abner, but then takes pity on the boy.

The Justices of the Peace

Both Justices are portrayed fairly positively. They both seem to try to do the right thing, within the principles of the law. Neither or them seems to have any real power to control Abner, or to he...