Barn Burning
Barn Burning
by William Faulkner

Barn Burning Analysis

Literary Devices in Barn Burning

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Fire is an important symbol in "Barn Burning," as you might expect. We talk about fire in almost every section of this guide. Here we want to focus on the fire Abner builds the night the family cam...

Setting

The first part of "Barn Burning" takes place in an unknown county somewhere in the southern United States. The second part of the story is set in rural Yoknapatawpha County in the state of Mississi...

Narrator Point of View

"Barn Burning" is told from the point of view of an objective third person, who knows something, but not everything, about the events that transpire and the characters who are involved. But there's...

Genre

Modernism is a broad label applied to a literary and artistic movement that began around the early 1900s. Modernist stories often feature non-linear narratives, fragmentation, and internal monologu...

Tone

"Momentous" means "a moment of great importance." In large part due to Faulkner's poetic style, every moment in "Barn Burning" seems important. This helps us feel the fragile nature of Sarty's peri...

Writing Style

Did you know that Faulkner considered himself a "failed poet"? (source). His first book was a book of poetry called The Marble Faun. You can read a review of it here. Influential critic Cleanth Bro...

What's Up With the Title?

Faulkner can be such as tease. He promises us barn burning, but doesn't quite deliver. We want raging flames; we want firefighters; we want Backdraft and, a young Drew Barrymore burning barns with...

What's Up With the Ending?

The ending of "Barn Burning" is intriguing. To keep things tidy, we'll focus on the last three paragraphs here. First we should briefly discuss the third to the last paragraph, where perfectly exce...

Plot Analysis

Sarty is asked to testify against his fatherWe find out quickly why this story is called "Barn Burning." Abner Snopes is accused of burning down his landlord's barn. The landlord, Mr. Harris, tells...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Rebirth

"[…] feeling no shock when his head struck the earth […] " (17)A story with this plot usually opens with the hero in deep…cheese? Maybe this is only the case for the hero of "Barn...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Act I begins with Sarty about to lie to the court about his father's barn burning activities. It ends, ironically, with Sarty's father accusing him of planning to tell the truth.Act II begins with...

Trivia

Faulkner's high school sweetheart, Estelle Oldham, dumped him for another guy. But then she divorced the other guy and married Faulkner.(Source)Faulkner's nephew, Jimmy Faulkner, played Major de Sp...

Steaminess Rating

Move along folks, no sex here.

Allusions

None

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