Readers’ Interpretation Of Barn Burning By Haruki Murakami
With Haruki Murakami’s short story entitled “Barn Burning” the reader can interpret the different meanings a phrase or saying may or may not mean based on the context as to which it was said. In essence, this excerpt encourages one to piece together and question the validity of the narrator’s life and the story’s overall meaning and theme. Through the first-person narrative is one able to feel as though they are a part of the story and able to know what is happening in real time. There are questions that are usually left unanswered by the author and it is up to the reader to answer it for themselves. The excerpt, from which this explication is based on, proves that one may have to read in-between-the-lines so that they may fully understand what is going on throughout the story.
“Barn Burning” is more than just a short story with a main protagonist and theme. It is a beautiful metaphor for pertaining to that of relationships. The story revolves around the narrator finding the idea of barns burning enticing and is curious to know when the next barn will burn, as he is stuck in a typical suburban lifestyle, he also finds that the disappearance of the young woman he became attached to and the meaning behind the phrase start to intertwine and relate with one another by the end of the story. The narrator finds his relationship with the young woman to be quite interesting because she is not connected to suburban life and ultimately accepts her for who she is. The man that the young woman introduces to the narrator happens to be handsome and one that travels a lot. It wouldn’t be until the young woman and her new man came over to the narrator’s house to smoke and drink that a phrase would stay with the narrator for the longest time. In the piece that was selected the man indicated that barns are built almost everywhere. What that means is that no matter the place or how it was made, a barn is essentially created using whatever means necessary and that it is susceptible of burning down. It goes to show that no barn is safe from burning down and that the longer a barn has been up the easier it is to catch on fire, although very much unlikely seeing as the newly built barns are the ones that burn the fastest. In essence, what the man might have meant when he said that “It’s like that’s why they were put there from the very beginning. No grief to anyone. They just… vanish. One, two, poof!” was that every relationship has at least one person thinking of burning the barn down because of the fact that they have might lost the sparks they initially had in the beginning. Essentially, these barns would perish so badly in the flames that everything is gone without a trace.
The way Haruki Murakami was able to allow the reader to come up with their own conclusion as to what their interpretation of the story is what makes his style of writing that much more compelling. Murakami was able to present the imagery of relationships burning and the harsh realities that come there after once they do. The whole idea that every human relationship is nothing more than a shallow existence and bound to crash and burn after losing their initial spark is what is relatable to the readers. It goes to show that once a person has received everything a relationship has to offer, they make no effort to maintain it thus having the “barn burn.”
Meaning of William Faulkner’s fire act in Barn Burning
What Does Fire Mean
The campfire scene in Faulkner’s Burning Barn story explains and shows many different characteristics of the Snopes family. The family is on their way to a new farm to work because Abner the farther was forced to leave the other one where they were because he burnt the barn down. Later in the story we find out that they are on their way to Major de Spain’s house. The family stops to rest for the night in an oak grove near a stream.
First Faulkner describes where the family decided to camp out for the night. “That night they camped in a grove of oaks and beeches where a spring ran.” Tree groves are considered nice places and sometimes show the wealth of families. The grove of oaks and beeches may indicate that the family was staying on a well, established landowner’s property, possibly Major de Spain’s land. There was also a stream nearby which might have been why the family decided to camp there for the night.
Next the family needed to make a fire to keep warm that night. “The nights were still cool and they had a fire against it, of a rail lifted from a nearby fence and cut into lengths a small fire” The family then builds a fire in the grove, but instead of picking up branches that had fallen from the trees they choose to damage someone’s else property by using a fence rail instead. This again shows how Snopes acted and did not care about damaging someone else’s property, like Abner does not care when he burns someone’s barn down. If Abner fills no shame burning someone’s barn down, he is defiantly not going to care about breaking and burning a piece of someone’s fence. The next line goes into more detail to describe and show Abner’s character. “Small fire, neat, niggard almost, a shrewd fire: such fires were his father’s habit” this shows Abner’s character, always having to have his way and not caring about anyone else around him. Even though it was a cold night Abner only builds a small fire, he refuses to build a large fire. This may be because when Abner was hiding during the war he always built small fires so no one would find him and since he is a character that is set in his ways and refuses to change he continues to build small fires. However, there is another theory on why Abner will only build small fires, Sarty realizes thing in the next couple of lines.
Next Sarty thinks about the real reason his farther builds such small fires, it was not to stay hidden but “that the element of fire spoke to some deep mainspring of his father’s being, as the elements of steel or of power spoke to other men, as the one weapon for the preservation of integrity, else breath were not worth the breathing, and hence to be regarded with respect and used with discretion.” This shows how Abner might see fire as his weapon to how a soldier sees his rifle as a weapon. Abner fills as if fire gives him power and control over people, it is his only weapon against the rich people like Major de Spain. Without fire, Abner would be without a weapon and powerless in his mind. So, he might have looked at fire as something that did not need to be wasted for something like warmth but saved for something bigger like burning down barns.
Next “Older, the boy might have remarked this and wondered why not a big one: why should not a man who had not only seen the waste and extravagance of war, but who had in his blood an inherent voracious prodigality with material not his own, have burned everything is sight?” This shows that once again Sarty is questioning his farther judgment, he wants to know why his farther will not build a bigger fire for his family especially since he is burning someone else’s property. He then goes on to describe how his farther use to steal horses from both sides during the war. “blue or gray, with his strings of horses (captured horses, he called them)” This again shows Abner’s character, always stealing and destroying what is not his. At the end of the story Sarty is forced to either stay with his own blood and become like his father or going off on his own and have nothing except for the opportunity to not be like his father.
The Theme of Change in Faulkner’s Books, “A Rose for Emily” and “Barn Burning”
William Faulkner is the author of two remarkable stories, “A Rose for Emily” and “Barn Burning.” This essay is going to analyze the two novels and give a comparison on the theme of change in the two novels.
The two stories “Barn Burning” and “A Rose for Emily” are symbolic of changes in a rapidly changing society. The characters from both novels seem to be adapting from changes that are as a result of industrialization. Abner’s father and Emily have a difficult time acknowledging and dealing with with the changes that have occurred in society. As a result of them refusing to accept change, it results in friction with their neighbors.
In “A Rose for Emily,” Emily Grierson the main character is symbolic of the old views. She refuses to accept that the world she has been brought up has changed, some past traditions no longer bind it. She represents the individuals in the south who refuse to accept that change has occurred. Emily in the story cannot accept that her father is dead and this causes a lot of tensions in the community. Emily refuses to accept even natural and normal things. After the demise of Colonel Sartoris, Emily refuses to accept that he is dead. Sartoris used to exempt her from paying taxes, after his death, he still refuses to pay taxes. Just like Abner in Barn Burning, she kills the individual representing a new world order and locks herself in a room. The room is timeless, as the objects in its wall remain untouched.
In conclusion, in both stories, it is the resistance of change that gives birth to the conflict. Emily and Abner’s reluctance to accommodate other peoples opinion and rigidity makes resolution of their conflicts difficult. William Faulkner uses two individuals, one who is rich and the other poor can resist change and commit murder to maintain the status quo.
Sarty Snope’s predicament in William Faulkner’s story Barn Burning
Choices We Have to Make
Sarty Snopes in William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning” is a prime example of someone who had to choose between two paths. He could stay with his family, his blood, which he knew was wrong or take the right path but be on his own. At first Sarty tries and wants to stay with his father but realizes that his father will never change. Sarty chooses to escape his family forever. His father, Abner, has done so much damage in Sarty’s life he will never turn back.
At the beginning of the book we learn that Sarty is watching a trial case. “He could not see the table where the Justice sat and before which his farther and his father’s enemy (our enemy he thought in the despair; ourn! mine and hisn both! He’s my farther!).” (3) At this point in time Sarty is on his father’s side. In the opening paragraph, we can see that Sarty is still a young boy, “He could not see the table.” (3) He is still too young to really understand what’s going on. He thinks that since family is blood, he needs to be on their side no matter what. When he says “our enemy…. mine and hisn both” (3) is meant to show that right now Sarty considers his father’s enemies his enemies as well because they are family.
Sarty begins to talk about how he and his family hop from place to place going where ever his farther wants to go. “He did not ever know where they were going. None of them ever did or ever asked…Likely his farther had already arranged to make a crop on another farm before he… Again he had to stop himself. He (the father) always did.” (7) We can see Sarty knowing that what his father is doing is wrong. He knows everywhere they go his father will burn down the owners barn before they leave. “before he…” (7) here he hesitates, not wanting to say before he burns down a barn. This hints that Sarty does not want to truly believe the kind of man his father is and it hurts him to say what his father does.
Sarty and his family deiced to find a place to sleep for the night on their way to another house. There are many examples that show how the Snopes family acts that encourages Sarty to want to leave his family. “The nights were still cool and they had a fire against it, of a rail lifted from a nearby fence and cut into lengths a small fire.” (7) Instead of picking up branches that had fallen from the trees they choose to damage someone else’s property by using a fence rail to build a fire. The next line goes into more detail to describe and show Abner’s character. “Small fire, neat, niggard almost, a shrewd fire: such fires were his father’s habit” (7) this shows Abner’s character, always having to have his way and not caring about anyone else around him. Even though it was a cold night, Abner only builds a small fire, he refuses to build a large fire. This may be because when Abner was hiding during the war he always built small fires so no one would find him and since he is a character that is set in his ways and refuses to change he continues to build small fires. Next “Older, the boy might have remarked this and wondered why not a big one” (7) This shows that once again Sarty is questioning his father’s judgment, he wants to know why his farther will not build a bigger fire for his family especially since he is burning someone else’s property.
Later on that night Abner hits Sarty. “You were fixing to tell them. You would have told him. He didn’t answer. His father struck him with the flat of his hand on the side of the head, hard but without heat, exactly as he would strike either of them with any stick in order to kill a horse fly, his voice still without heat or anger: You’re getting to be a man. You got to learn. You got to stick to your own blood or you ain’t going to have any blood to stick to you.” (8) Abner gets mad at Sarty because he thinks Sarty would have told in court what he knew. Sarty could tell that his farther meant no harm because he said, “struck him with the flat of his hand… but without heat.” (8) Abner wanted to get his point across but still show Sarty that he loved him. He hit Sarty like he hits a fly off someone, hard enough to kill the fly but light enough to not hurt the person. He then goes on to say that it is time for Sarty to grow up and become a man. He says “You got to learn. You got to stick to your own blood or you ain’t going to have any blood to stick to you.” (8) This is what makes Sarty think about why he should stay with his family. Since family is blood they can and will protect you but if you leave and don’t protect them they won’t protect you. But later on Abner gives Sarty more reasons on why he should leave.
When they arrived at the house and were walking in, there was a fresh pile of horse dropping in the middle of the drive. Abner stepped directly on them and Sarty noticed what he had done. “the stiff foot come squarely down in a pile…his father could have avoided by a simple change of stride” (10) When they walk in Sarty’s father steps harder than one needs to while walking. He gets the horse dropping all over one of the rugs in the house. Sarty seems disappointed in his father for ruining the rug. Major de Spain tells Abner that he will have to pay for the rug by taking away twenty corn bushels. Abner refuses and as always plans to burn Major de Spain’s barn down to get back at him. In the end, Abner succeeds in burning down Major de Spain’s barn. This is when Sarty makes his final choice and decides to leave his family for good.
Sarty was sitting at the top of a hill watching Major de Spain’s barn burn. He hears three shots and cries “Pap! Pap! Running again before he knew he had begun to run” (24) Even though he knows his father is no good he still cares for him and wants to rush to see if he is okay after he hears the shots but then he stops. We can assume that Abner might be dead now. To Sarty his father is dead no matter what, if he is not actually dead he is still dead to Sarty. Sarty talks about his father in past tense meaning to him his father is dead. “Father. My father, he thought. He was brave! He cried suddenly aloud but not loud, no more than a whisper: He was! He was in the war! He was in Colonel Satoris cav’ry!” (24) Sarty loved his father but was ready to let go and take his own path.
“He went on down the hill, toward the dark woods within which the liquid silver voices of the birds called unceasing the rapid and urgent beating of the urgent and quiring heart of the late spring night. He did not look back.” (25) After many attempts at trying to consider to stay with his family, Abner had done too much damage for Sarty to ever forgive him. He did not want to grow up and turn into his father so he made the right choice, and left.
William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning” shows how even though family is your blood sometimes people still need to look past the blood and see the bigger picture. Sometimes even though it’s the right choice it can be a hard choice to make. Faulkner shows the choices people have to make every day through Sarty.
William Faulkner’s Barn burning story-topic and writing style analysis
Faulkner represents some of the highly original American writers in both technique and subject content. ‘Barn Burning’ is a well-recognized short story that has won the author a highly ranked reputation as well as attracting various common critics. In the story, he portrays the love and revulsion of a young boy towards his father. The father is a frightening man who lives by a certain conviction in the perfection of his perfections. The author combines the stream of consciousness method with various difficulties to read. However, it can be identified that this is rewarding in its profundity. There are various perspectives that have been used in the paper. Some of these include the biographical, mythological, formalist, and psychological (Faulkner 515).
However, it is evident that psychological or morality is the perspective that clearly describes the Barn burning story. For instance, in the final images Sarty is the focus. In this case, he is alone because he has cut himself from the family. For this reason, he has to face the world on his own possessing nothing else other than his integrity, as well as his sense of justice. Through these characters, both morality and psychology are expressed. However, there are different styles that the author has applied with an aim of bringing the right basis of the story. For instance, despite his wife’s protests, Snopes pours the kerosene from the lamp and put it back into the container. He then secures a lit candle stub at the opening of the bottle (Faulkner 518).
However, Snope orders Sartoris to fetch the oil. Although he obeys, he fantasizes about running away. In this case, he tries to put off Snopes: he is grabbed by the collar where he orders his wife to restrain him. It is evident that there is irony in the story that brings out the required impact. Although Snope applies much effort with an aim of burning the Spain’s barn, all his plans are thwarted: the satire in the story is well presented. Three shots ring killing Snope. Imagery is also a key style that the author implements (Faulkner 520).
The Theme Of Justice And Loyalty In William Faulkner’s Barn Burning
In William Faulkner’s short story, “Barn Burning,” a possible theme that could be interpreted is how strong loyalty to one’s family can be, no matter the details of the dynamics, but also the moral dilemma of how stressing that loyalty is to uphold. The short story is rich with literary devices and lessons that teach the reader a variety of lessons and themes.
William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, in 1897. He was an American poet and novelist, as well as a railroad financier, politician, soldier, farmer, businessman, and lawyer throughout his life. As a young man, to no surprise, Faulkner enjoyed reading and writing, as well as drawing. However, he never earned his high school diploma, despite being very intelligent. It is supposed that school bored him too much. In 1918 he joined the British Royal Flying Corps and trained as a pilot in the first Royal Canadian Air Force after he moved to New Haven, Connecticut to live with a friend of his: Phil Stone. Faulkner trained on Canadian and British bases, and just before the war was over he finished his service in Toronto, never facing combat, although he was known to stretch truths and embellish stories of dramatic acts and battles. Faulkner was a skilled writer, eventually winning a Nobel Peace Award. He died July 6, 1962 of a heart attack.
Faulkner establishes the theme of justice and loyalty in the first scene where Abner Snopes stands trial in a makeshift court set up in a dry goods store. The trial is largely inept, and the jury can hardly be seen to have punished Snopes by forcing him out of town and goes free without any jail time. In this scene, Sarty’s outward show of loyalty is revealed when he refuses to testify against his father despite being called to the stand in court. However inwardly, Sarty consciously has to correct himself that the plaintiff is not only his father’s enemy, but Sarty’s too. This conscious reminder that he must give himself seems to hint at the moral stress that Sarty faces when he supports his father despite the wrongs he has committed. Upon leaving the courtroom, he attacks a boy half again his size who calls Snopes a barn burner, which also shows how outwardly Sarty shows his support of his father. Throughout the story, a pattern is established. He keeps trying to defend, through his speech and actions, his father to whom he knows he owes his life, and who he shares a bond with. But while the pull of family ties is strong, Sarty is old enough to have started to realize that what his father does is wrong. The struggle goes on throughout the story as Sarty continues outwardly to defend his father while inwardly his doubts grow stronger and stronger. Social inequality also fuels the central conflict in ‘Barn Burning,’ as the root of the problems. Abner Snopes, Sarty’s father, is a poor, itinerant worker with a family to feed, resents anyone of a higher social station. His habit of barn burning seems to come from his frustration and wounded pride. He’s quick to take offense and lashes out strongly once he feels slighted. He acts out with no regard to how Sarty might feel, automatically expecting Sarty’s unquestionable support and loyalty even if it means Sarty, who is a very young boy, must lie to figures of authority.
In the story, Sarty describes his own inner conflict as like being pulled two ways between two teams of horses. On one side is the pull of familial loyalty. On the other side is truth and justice. When the Major de Spain command the fine, Sarty protests to his father that de Spain should have told them how to clean the rug, that the fine is too high, and that they will hide the corn from de Spain. His outbursts in his father’s behalf almost cause more trouble for Snopes when Sarty loudly protests that his father hadn’t burned the rug, when the issue at hand this time is the damaged rug, not a burned barn. When the fine is lowered, he still protests that the major will not get a single bushel. His thoughts, however, and what Faulkner projects will be his future thoughts once he has grown, reveal the ultimately stronger pull of truth and justice. When, after the first trial, his father strikes him and tries to convince him that the men who bring him to trial are only after revenge because they know that ultimately Snopes is in the right, Sarty says nothing, but Faulkner knows that twenty years later, Sarty will tell himself that had he’d said they wanted only truth and justice, his father would have struck him again. The de Spain mansion immediately appears to Sarty as a symbol of hope that perhaps here is a power too great that with which his father cannot even hope to contend. What he cannot yet comprehend, in his childish innocence, is that the greater the wealth, the greater the gulf between the landowner and the landless Snopes, and thus the greater his father’s anger that Snopes keeps tightly in check until it bursts out in the flames of the fires he sets.
Sarty still seems to be supporting his father when he runs to get the oil to burn de Spain’s barn. During the short trip, however, he decides that he can neither simply run away nor stand by carelessly as his father burns the barn. He returns with the oil to face his father openly for the first time, and he takes his stand firmly on the side of truth and justice when he runs to warn the major. By the end, he has turned his back both literally and symbolically on his home and on what remains of his family. His turning away from his family, however, is presented as a sign of hope as he walks off into the woods as dawn breaks and morning bird’s calls replace those of the birds of night.
Analysis of Sarty’s Change Throughout Barn Burning by William Faulkner
Faulkner’s ‘Barn Burning’ is a character-driven story, as what moves it forward is Sarty’s internal growth as a character. We see him begin as a young child with strong trust in his beloved father and end as a young boy beginning to think for himself and develop a sense of independence and grow into a stronger character.
Sarty’s father is a challenging character to like. He is rude, violent, and argumentative, traits revealed in his behavior throughout the story. He rudely and intentionally wipes his dirty shoes on de Spain’s rug, argues over the fee he must pay for the damage he’s caused, then attempts to burn de Spain’s barn in a fit of spite. Throughout this progression of events, Sarty is faced with a difficult choice: remain loyal to his father and come to the man’s defense or speak out. Initially, the boy remains silent. He insists in court that his father is innocent of burning Mr. Harris’s barn (an earlier offense we don’t witness but nonetheless are led to believe Mr. Snopes is guilty of by the end of the story), despite being bullied by his peers over the matter and the increasing evidence that his father is a criminal.
At the beginning of the story he spoke as a child watching and looking at the things around him. Sarty’s lack of language signifies his venerability the, ‘terrible handicap of being young”. He said that an enemy of his fathers was ‘our enemy’ and spoke with the loyalty of a lamb, never knowing that it could stray from the flock. Near the middle of the story, we can see the tone of his speech change. Sarty shows change when he asks his father if he ‘want’s to ride now?’ when they are leaving de Spain’s house. He seems to have the courage to ask his dad certain things, not fearing the consequences. At the end of the story, the language Sarty uses becomes clearer and more independent. Sarty struggles with a sense of guilt for betraying his father; amidst his grief, the young boy refines their relationship by replacing the endearing cry of ‘Pap, Pap!’ with the formal cry of ‘Father, Father!’. He shows his development through these examples of his speech.
In William Faulkner’s ‘Barn Burning,’ the character Sarty experiences great growth throughout the story. He begins as a child who is fearful of his father – both disappointing him and incurring his wrath and violence. He is willing to lie to a judge to protect his father and remain loyal to his family. As the story progresses, and particularly when Sarty sees his father deliberately, maliciously soil the de Spain’s white rug, he realizes that his father will never change and if he’s not careful, he will turn into his father one day. It is at this moment, that Sarty realizes that he must make a choice between his own integrity and loyalty to his father.
He chooses integrity – at the cost of losing his family. When he alerts the de Spain’s that his father has set fire to the barn, he irrevocably changes the course of his life. Shots are fired and his father and brother are probably killed; now that he has betrayed his family, Sarty has no choice but to run away. The final scene of this coming of age story shows Sarty walking away, with the sense that he will be better off and has made the right decision.
Abner is a tenant farmer resentful of the wealthy landowners for whom he works. He expresses this resentment by striking back at them in ways that range from petty larceny and bad work habits to setting fires. He rebels not only against the social conventions and inequalities of the Old South, but also the sense of community and loyalty that were part of the southern ethos.
When the family begins to work for Major de Spain, Sarty gets a sense of a life, that of the Old South and its traditions, which is more gracious and peaceful than the one his father lives, and also begins to slowly work out his own sense of ethics. When his father prepares to set Major de Spain’s barn on fire, he runs away from his mother to alert the Major, solidifying his allegiance to the values of the Old South.
By the end of the story, Sarty finally breaks away from his childish defense of his father. The last straw is when his father attempts to burn de Spain’s barn down out of spite. The boy runs to de Spain, confesses his father is a barn-burner, and escapes to the woods just as he hears gunshots that presumably signal his father’s death, though the story never makes this certain. We are left with the image of poor Sarty waking up peacefully in the woods, alone, away from the chaos of his father, and remarkably calm. By this point, the boy has made a tremendous leap in his development as a free thinker and a braver, bolder individual. He no longer blindly clings to his father like a child but instead is able to see his father’s true character and bravely break away from a toxic relationship. Sarty’s character growth is thus not just in maturity but also in grit. Informing de Spain of his father’s barn-burning plans is a brave act that the Sarty in the beginning of the story would have been incapable of.
Comparative Analysis of “Barn Burning” and “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner
William Faulkner stands out as one of the remarkable authors in the contemporary society with a focus on short stories as well as novels. Some of his pieces that almost every English student likes is “A Rose of Emily” as well as the “Barn Burning.” The thematic aspect of these articles being the social life depicted by the southern people. Also, there is the struggle they undergo at different instances. The use of a dramatic context in the stories is vital in fostering empathy. The ability to create the feeling makes it possible for the audience to place themselves in the shoes of the southern town. The ability to develop a sense of sympathy in both stories brings a greater understanding of correlation. Moreover, there exist similarities and differences in the stories regarding their contexts. Ideally, the aspects make them unique as well as entertaining.
The first thing under consideration is the social life of those in the Southern. That is inclusive of the struggle depicted in the two pieces. According to the “Barn Burning,” the use of Yaknapatawpha, which is a town in Mississippi is imaginary in illustrating major concepts relating to the struggle. On the other side, there is the utilization of Jefferson township, which is the center of focus in “A Rose for Emily.” In the “Barn Burning,” there exists a small boy more of in a dilemma striving to express loyalty to the community and the family. On the other hand, there is a feeling of unpleasantness, sympathy as well as awkwardness during the discovery of a longtime residence in Jefferson town. The fact that Emily kept sleeping with dead bodies is threatening and represent an aspect of a cult.
The stories present a significant aspect, whereby people with different lives can work together to solve the problems. There exists a sort of algorithm in sorting these issues, leading to the element of communism. At one instance, people will strive to create their world to solve some challenges. The process is never appealing and might make individuals lose the societal ties. The old, as well as the new industrial periods, experienced a wide range of transformation and the two stories act an accurate representation. Abner, as well as Emily’s father, can undoubtedly attest the challenges in the society, and they had to use all the possible means to adapt and survive in such environments. In the two stores, the protagonists strive to resist change, and the end is always murder as well as the destruction of property. Even though the plot might be the same in specific ways, there is also a lot of dissimilarity in the aspect that Abner was from a humble background. Emily was from the different side of the financial edge. Even though these characters were divergent on the element of social class, they still had the same problems, and their ways of solving such issues also remained the same to some extent. Symbolisms is an aspect that dominates “A Rose for Emily.” The use of Grierson was to depict the old views dominating the story. It is evident that she constantly disagrees with the old age of life as well as the restrictions that result due to the old tradition. The elements of the old South `keep dragging civilization, and that limits success in some ways’.
The North presented a commendable pace and the use of “A Rose for Emily” denotes all the struggles that people from the south experience while trying to cope and implement modernization. The society dictates some things, and the two stories outline the influence of the father. Emily could not date, and that resulted for the thirst for love as well as security. The death of Emily’s father signified freedom. Meeting Homer Barron seemed the end of life for her. On the contrary, there was Sarty father. Continually burning down other people properties proves lack of loyalty. However, the son later embraces the community and was willing to use all the available resources to give back to the society. From the analogy, it is evident that Barron symbolized the new generation. The ability to remain rigid is the reason for his death. Men should marry at a particular instance, a fact that Homer failed to embrace. That resulted to his untimely death.
In conclusion, William managed to provide a systematic plot for the two stories. Still, there is the symbolic significance regarding people’s thoughts in times of danger as well as other natural calamities. The use of Abner and Emily presents a clear analogy of the two paradigms of life. Emily was from a wealthy family and managed to share problems with a person from a humble background. Even though the issues had a different scope, they led to use similar ways in solving their problems. The only daunting aspect is the problem-solving techniques that proved ineffective. Any problem-solving technique should offer a better solution. To the contrary, the methods depicted by Abner as well as Emily adds more misery. That is not how a problem-solving solve emerge. Still, the society should be dynamic and embrace change for the sake of the future generation.
Analysis Of Sarty’s Escape From His Family’s Fate In Barn Burning By William Faulkner
According to William Faulkner, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Faulkner’s “Barn Burning” mimics this quote by providing a glimpse into the events of a blood line that is so seemingly doomed by its history that its present and future generations are disfigured by their pasts. However, one member of this family, Sarty Snopes, increasingly distances himself from his controlling father, Abner, throughout the short story. Despite his strong love for his father, Sarty realizes that if his father cannot change, then Sarty must escape his inherited past both figuratively and literally. Although the other Snopeses in “Barn Burning” are condemned to their futures as a result of their pasts, Sarty is the one capable of breaking free from his family’s fate and electing his own path.
Abner Snopes’s past and present actions overwhelmingly control his family’s present and future. Consequently, the Snopeses have no choice but to fall in line or fall victim to his actions. Already it seems that Abner’s wife, daughters, and other son obey all of his demands. For example, when Abner demands his wife restrain Sarty from interfering so that Abner may proceed to burn another barn, she obligingly does so. Sarty’s brother then suggests, “Better tie [Sarty] up to the bedpost”. Evidently, Abner’s son is already becoming as ruthless, if not even more ruthless, than his father. Sarty’s brother’s comment is proof that, as a result of Abner’s strong imposition of his character and attitude onto his wife and children, his future offspring will be as ruthless as Abner. In one particular instant, the narrator mentions that Abner’s descendants would exact the same emotionless quality of overrunning a car engine as Abner exacts when whipping his mules. Apparently, there is an aura of ruthlessness that is deep-rooted in Abner’s blood.
The narrator reveals that this ruthlessness might be a result of Abner’s scarred past. His behavior and outlook on life are linked to his upbringing and his time in the war, during which he obtained several war injuries including a noticeable limp. Physically and emotionally scarred by his past, Abner becomes accustomed to living a subsistence lifestyle and he develops into a cold being incapable of showing emotion. Because Abner failed to show emotion to his children while raising them, they will also be incapable of expressing themselves emotionally.
Furthermore, they are likely to pass on Abner’s cruelty onto their children. Evidently, Abner’s blood pool is tainted with an overwhelming ruthlessness and coldness which affects his present and future generations. Despite the presence of Abner’s blood in his veins, Sarty is able to ignore Abner’s pull on him and choose his own fate. Sarty already considers disobeying his father in the courthouse where Abner is being tried for burning his neighbor’s barn. Sarty is called to testify and he briefly considers testifying against his father before the judge calls him back. Abner notices Sarty’s hesitation and attempts to reinforce his values by plainly striking him across the head. He then tells Sarty, “You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain’t going to have any blood to stick to you”.
In an effort to please Abner, Sarty remains subservient to his father until they arrive at the new farm. Upon arriving, Sarty has a fleeting hope that Abner’s behavioral habits will end upon seeing the mansion that the De Spains live in. Sarty believes that the De Spains are so rich that his father could not possibly touch them. To the De Spains, the Snopeses are insignificant and Abner is aware of it. So, to prove his significance and defiance, Abner tracks horse manure onto Major De Spain’s hundred-dollar rug. Abner believes this action will force Sarty to side with him, but instead it further alienates him. Abner tries once more to regain Sarty’s attention by ruining the rug with harsh cleaning chemicals before returning it to De Spain. At this point, Sarty is unsure of his own character and beliefs. He hopes that perhaps that Abner’s last act of defiance will be enough for him to stop forever, but that is not the case.
The following Saturday, Sarty bursts into the courtroom where Abner is trying to sue DeSpain and cries to the Justice, “He ain’t done it! He ain’t burnt . . .”. Sarty’s comment is out of place, but it is evident that Sarty is still trying to protect his father in hope that he may change one day. However later that night, Abner demands that Sarty help him burn De Spain’s barn. Now that Sarty sees that his father has not and cannot change, he abandons any hope of saving him. Despite being held back by his mother, Sarty escapes and chooses to warn De Spain of Abner’s actions. He flees from De Spain, his family, and his father towards the dark woods where he hears gun shots and sees the blaze of the barn. Alone in the woods, Sarty briefly laments for his father before continuing his path in the world by himself. No longer is Sarty captive to his father’s blood; now Sarty controls his own destiny.
The theme of “Barn Burning” emphasizes the influence that the past has on the future. Essentially, one is born into his or her circumstances; it is difficult to alter one’s fate. It initially seems that one cannot escape his or her past, but Sarty defies that expectation. Confronted with the option of following his dominant father’s actions and behavior or escaping his blood traits and choosing his own path, Sarty chooses his morals over his father’s and frees himself from the grip of his past. Now Sarty, an independent man, is left alone in the world to decide what he will do, but at least he is autonomous and released from the control of his tumultuous past.
Analysis Of Realism And Symbolism In Barn Burning By William Faulkner
Karl Zender explains there is an obvious realism in Faulkner’s story but the modernist twist throughout is the symbolism of the irony which causes the reader to depart from realism to some deeper meaning. Thus, leaving the reader to decide what deeper meaning to connect the characters to the plot itself. This is true. The story is full of realism with symbolism that leads me to believe that there is a deeper meaning. Zender breaks down literature to a psychological and social function and that the Barn Burning by William Faulkner embodies that. The value of the story within the theme is ever present and show the means of loyalty and maturation within the character named Sarty.
Namely, Zender portrays Faulkner’s climax, of Sarty, essentially killing his father, as a setting of Sarty’s maturity knowing that he must move on. Zender points to the engagement of three question that sends Sarty to progression throughout the story. First, why does Ab take Sarty to the de Spain house the first time, Second, Why does he take Sarty the second time, and third, why does he refuse to tie Sarty to the bed as his other son suggests, before leaving to burn Spain’s barn? But overall, Zender compares these questions to the loyalty Sarty feels and the pull of values that contradict each other with the defense of his father burning barns.
Zender shows this feeling when explaining that Sarty feels freedom when he sees the large De Spain home. The blood ties that Sarty is taught are more important than anything else create conflict for him and his father. Zender explains that merely seeing these questions and conflicts as merely developmental cut down the stories significance. Also, commonly we see the character but not beyond his predictiment. The story is not meant for us, as readers, to limit ourselves to these things like the predictiment and the development of the character, but also the values and meaning for today’s world from a classical text.
Zender explains that the event of taking his son to the large De Spain house was meant to derail his son’s thoughts of disloyalty by showing that even the purest of things can be contaminated. Ab, with the swift of his foot, tracks feces on the rug which symbolizes this point. It is a crucial point in the understanding of Ab and Sarty’s relationship. It is a relationship that is still mending after Sarty’s misstep in the beginning of the story with the Justice of the Court. It is a relationship in which Ab takes control of as the family rested before arriving at the De Spain house. Ab struck his son and instructed him on loyalty as is implied was taught to his son before.
Zender points out that Faulkner often has a parental to child relationship within his stories. The relationships are often personal and complicated. The fact that Ab had multiple instances of symbolism within the actions of his son is evident and Zender explains that as crucial to the story line and the theme. In following Zender’s advice, looking at this story as the development of Sarty and his maturity but looking farther at the outlining symbolism and meaning brought a better understanding to the message and theme being portrayed by Faulkner. Zender shows that the psychological facture of instruction from a teacher-student method as is magnified by Faulkner with Ab and Sarty is a crucial part to the story and shows truth to Zender’s analysis that the Burning Barn is a story of Psychological function.
Although I agree with the assessment that the relationship plays a large role throughout, I don’t find it true that his father took him as a mentor would take a student. Zender does a great job though, throughout of breaking down the bigger picture and often incorporated examples from other texts in proving his point of emphasis. There was plenty of textual evidence to come to the same conclusion as Zender through his analysis.