'Narrative Therapy In Barn Burning'

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Why does storytelling matter? Storytelling is a method of explaining a series of events through a narrative. Some people may think storytelling is fictional, however, that is not completely accurate. Storytelling can depict social issues occurring within society. Narrative theory and narrative therapy are two concepts, which play a part in understanding the power of storytelling. Narrative theory focuses on how stories help people make sense of the world by coming to terms with their experiences. Narrative therapy seeks to help people identify their values, so they can effectively confront whatever problems they face. It views problems as separate from people and helps to shape a person's identity. Narrative theory and narrative therapy are…show more content…
The short story “Barn Burning” is full of despair, due to the actions of Sarty’s father. Sarty’s father sets fire to his employer’s barn, in order to release his anger. Sarty evokes powerful emotions through telling the story of his family’s troubles: “He saw the altered light through the door where a candle stub now burned in a bottle neck on the table and his father…emptying the reservoir of the lamp back into the five-gallon kerosene can…Then his father saw him standing in the door. Go to the barn and get that can of oil we were oiling the wagon with, he said” (Faulkner 688). The problems Sarty’s family goes through evoke heartbreaking emotions and resemble a broken family. Sarty’s father is full of anger due to living in poverty and slavery, which is the reason he sets fire to his employer’s barn. His father damages the property of those he feels have done wrong to him; by setting fire to the barn he is able to escape the poverty and slavery. The fire represents freedom and is a way for Sarty’s father to release his anger, which enables him to feel good. Through storytelling and narrative therapy Sarty is able to develop morality and understand his father’s actions are wrong. “Barn Burning” was not the only short story that develops the power of…show more content…
The narrator in “The Cask of Amontillado” intentions are clear, he is angry and vows to seek revenge against the person who has done him wrong. In this short story, Poe writes, “I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong” (168). The narrator, Montresor, evokes emotions of anger and is upset that Fortunato has embarrassed him. Montresor states that Fortunato must know of his fate because it would be equally wrong, if he does not seek revenge on the person who has done the wrong. Through storytelling and narrative therapy Montresor is able to identify his values and shape his identity. He values taking revenge as a way to confront his problems. Also, he is provided with catharsis by taking revenge upon Fortunato. Montresor successfully kills Fortunato and does so with impunity, which allows him to release the anger he is feeling. Poe uses the power of storytelling to spark emotions within his readers. His narratives typically deal with human experiences, which tend to grab the reader’s attention. David Kelman, a professor at the California State University, describes how Poe transmits experiences in the form of storytelling: “Poe introduces the image of the startled reader, whose intellect is brought into play by
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