Informative Essay on Barn Burning

Category: Barn Burning
Last Updated: 06 Jul 2020
Essay type: Informative
Pages: 2 Views: 243

In William Faulkner’s Barn Burning, ten year old Colonel Sartoris Snopes, is forced to confront an ethical uncertainty that questions his loyalty to his family against the higher concepts of justice and morality. Satoris decision on whether to do right by family or do the right thing according to law are controlled by a life of violence, conflict, constantly overwhelmed of fear, grief and despair. He knows that peace, joy, and dignity are the alluring promises of a different kind of life one that seems far away from the one his father has headed.

Abner Snopes, Sartoris father is a serial arsonist who has convinced himself he has rights to unleash his destructive revenge on anyone whom he believes has wronged him. Barely having charges dropped against him for belief that he burned down a landowners barn whom the family were short term tenants, Abner finds himself in a confrontation with De Spain an affluent landowner whom Abner and his family will work for.

Sartoris finds himself in the middle of this all trying to decide if loyalty to his family is more important than loyalty to the law is the moral imperative. Sartoris is marked with pride after taking a punch from a boy that accused Abner of barn burning, wanting to believe that his father will turn from his criminal ways he remains loyal to his family standing up to anyone who bad mouths his father.

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This pride is short lived once Sartoris realizes his father is planning to burn the barn of De Spain after their confrontation about the rug being soiled and mistakenly burned. Sartoris then begins to understand family loyalty comes at to great a cost and to heavy a burden, he then goes on to warn De Spain of the burning. As a result his father is killed presumably shot to death by De Spain. This is a mark of freedom and a chance at peace and happiness even though they still wind up alone.

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Informative Essay on Barn Burning. (2017, May 24). Retrieved from

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