Barn Burning Essay

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In “Barn Burning,” the author, William Faulkner, composes a wonderful story about a poor boy who lives in anxiety, despair, and fear. He introduces us to Colonel Satoris Snopes, or Sarty, a boy who is mature beyond his years. Due to the harsh circumstances of life, Sarty must choose between justice and his family. At a tender age of ten, Sarty starts to believe his integrity will help him make the right choices. His loyalty to family doesn’t allow for him to understand why he warns the De Spain family at such a young age. Faulkner describes how the Snopes family is emotionally conflicted due to Abner’s insecurities, how consequences of a father’s actions can change their lives, and how those choices make Sarty begin his coming of age into adulthood. Much can be the same for me and my life. My father’s actions gravely affected not only his own life but also the lives of all those in my family. Similarly, I feel that I was forced into a deeper sense of maturity that seemed beyond my age. Sarty and I share a very common bond due to the outlawed actions of our fathers. The conflictions of the Snopes family in this story are of anger, fear, and despair. Abner Snopes, the father, is an angry man. He believes that he is always right, he is abusive, and is always being short-changed by life. Even though his wife is impartial to his actions, she looks at him with an “anxious face at his shoulder,” which describes how weary she is when in the presence of her husband (Faulkner 1961). My father was also abusive. I was not yet born so I was not victim to the abuse but my older siblings and mother were not spared. Similarly, Sarty’s whole family lives under a blanket of fear and anxiety due to his father’s insecurities, and resentment for people who belittle him. Sarty’s older brother is easily impressed, and follows their father’s manipulative ways of dysfunction: the brother

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