Theme Of Irony In Barn Burning

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In two southern short stories “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner, and “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston, the main characters resolve conflicts in an ironic manner. In “ Father’s and Son’s: The Spiritual Quest in Faulkner’s “Barn Burning”, Oliver Billingslea briefly discusses the irony within Faulkner’s “Barn Burning”. Irony in a persistent theme within southern gothic literature.
In Faulkner’s “Barn Burning” Sarty choses to solve his problems through defiance, his rebellion can be seen as a replication of his father’s, the very thing he is resentful of. Irony is persistent throughout the story. Also, Abner constantly stresses to Sarty the importance of being loyal to your family. Abner tells Sarty “You gotta learn to stick to your own blood or you ain’t gonna have any blood to stick to you” (Faulkner 3). In other words, Abner was telling Sarty that if you are not loyal to your family, no matter the circumstances, then you will not have any place to turn to when you need help. This is ironic, because though Sarty was defiant towards his family, and broke his loyalty with pure intentions, what his father said proved to be true. At the end of the story, Sarty faced a dilemma, though he had good intentions, he was still left with nowhere to go, and no one to turn to. Billingslea briefly discusses the irony of this
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Initially, Sykes releases a rattlesnake, into the home of both him and Delia with the intentions of it killing her. Though, it does not. Sykes returns to the home, and Delia is nowhere to be found, so he assumed the job had been done and proceed into the house. This is where the irony comes into play, Sykes ends of being the victim of the rattler rather than Delia. Delia’s main conflict, with her abusive husband was solved when the trap he set for her failed, and he become the victim of the
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