Character Analysis Of William Faulkner's Barn Burning

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William Faulkner’s character driven work “Barn Burning” is a intense representation of the internal struggles of a young boy in the south. This acclaimed work by Faulkner notoriously portrays the importance of familial bonds in the south with the display of a dynamic character, Sarty Snopes. Other prevalent themes such as justice, race, and development are driven forward by the character of Sarty. From his first encounter with the Justice of the Peace to his final escape, Sarty showed drastic development as a person throughout “Barn Burning”. This theme of development is also represented in the symbolism of the barn changing from a sturdy structure to a pile of ashes. Like the barn, Sarty Snopes changes from the sturdy values instilled in him by his family to a completely different and unique version of himself. Sarty begins the story as a young child with strong trust in his father and ends as a young boy who has developed a sense of independence and justice. Early in William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning”, the character of Sarty is heavily attached to his trust for his father, Abner Snopes. The opening scene shows young Sarty perched on a nail keg and surrounded by the smell of cheese. The small-town general store doubles as the courtroom where Sarty’s father is accused of setting fire to another man’s property. Faulkner’s long sentences in this paragraph show the young boy’s unsteadiness and unease. Being stuck in the corner of a crowded store full of adults watching his
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