Barn Burning And Snopes Character Analysis

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Fire is a constant threat in “Barn Burning,” and it represents both Snopes’s inherent powerlessness and his quest for power and self-expression. After the family has been run out of town, because Snopes burned a barn, and Snopes steals a split rail from a fence and makes a small fire by the roadside, barely functional and hardly suited to the large family’s needs on a cold evening. He’d committed his fiery crime in a desperate hold at power, but now he reveals how utterly powerless he is to adequately care for his family. When Snopes turns the fire on the others property, however, his power increases, although, criminally. Snopes has grown adept at committing crimes and escaping undetected, and his entire family is drawn into this pattern of lying and evasion. Unlike the small, inadequate fire Snopes built for his family, the criminal fire that Snopes set in Mr. Harris’s barn sent Confederate patrols out for many nights of searching for the…show more content…
At the beginning of the text Sarty smells something besides the food in the store. He smells "the old fierce pull of blood". Since this line is followed by the story's first mention of Abner, realizing that this pull Sarty is talking about is the blood bond he feels exists between him and his father. At this point Sarty seems to think this familial bond is so important but, something changes when his father tells him this: "You've got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain't going to have any blood to stick to you". Surviving through various generations, blood represents (as in terms of “bloodline”) the way in which the past works inexorably on the present, even in ways that are not immediately obvious. In addition, though, the fact that Sarty cannot escape from his family heritage, the physical existence or absence of blood is more related to how the family responds to such bonds—with affection, for instance, or
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