Study Guide

Lennie Snopes in Barn Burning

By William Faulkner

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 succeeds. Like other Faulkner women, she is portrayed as weak and powerless, unable to protect herself, her family or the larger community from her husband.

Though the dominating figure in Sarty's life is his father, Sarty seems to admire his mother, Lennie, on some level. He notices that she and his aunt begin to unpack the wagon before his father, sisters, and brother even get out. He notices that Lennie and his aunt do the cooking while his sisters talk leisurely. Still, we never see Sarty offering to help her or showing tenderness toward her. We don't know what it means, but it's interesting to note that after Sarty runs away, he doesn't even mention his mother. What's the deal with that?