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Barn Burning Themes
Little Words, Big Ideas
"Barn Burning" is the story of a brave ten-year-old, Sarty Snopes. His life is scary, mostly because his father is a domineering man who burns down wealthy landowners' barns in his spare time. Sart...
Since the hero of "Barn Burning" is Sarty Snopes, a ten-year-old boy, it's no surprise that youth is a major theme. The story gets lots of mileage out of the contrast between Sarty's youthful visio...
Unfortunately, the family situation in "Barn Burning" is atrocious. Think extreme poverty, a tyrannical barn-burning father, constant moving, and zero respect in the community. What's more, all the...
Boiled down to its essence, "Barn Burning" is about choices, and the freedom and responsibility that comes with making them. This story also highlights how the choices people make affect others. In...
Society and Class
We see several different economic classes in "Barn Burning." The extremely poor class of tenant farmers to which Sarty, our ten-year-old protagonist, and his family belong presents a stark contrast...
Justice and Judgment
The fact that there are two courtroom scenes in this rather short story, quickly alerts us to its theme of justice and judgment. "Barn Burning" features a variety of perspectives on justice, and sh...
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