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Barn Burning

Barn Burning

by William Faulkner

Barn Burning Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Faulkner said he wrote to "uplift" the "hearts" of the people (source) (181). Do you find this story uplifting? Why or why not?
  2. How do you feel about the character of de Spain? How does Sarty feel about him? How do you know?
  3. Why do you think Abner starts fires? What quotes could you use to support your theory?
  4. What do you think will happen to Sarty later in life? What are the chances of Sarty becoming a firefighter? A judge?
  5. How does Lennie Snopes compare with Faulkner's other female characters, like Emily Grierson from "A Rose for Emily," or Minnie Cooper from "Dry September"? How do you feel about the way Faulkner depicts the women in his work?
  6. Why doesn't the narrator tell us the names of all of the characters?
  7. The story opens with the smell of cheese. How did that make you feel? What is the significance of cheese in the story?

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