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Word Count: 2,290
Barn Burning by William Faulkner Barn Burning describes the development of Colonel Sartoris Snopes Sarty with his coming to manhood and the concomitant rejection of his father Mr Snopes From the beginning of the story we witness the growing conflict between the two characters which is identified from the beginning of the text with the boys anxiety Nevertheless through this latent emotional and physical rebellion what the boy comes through is the discovery of evil embodied by the patriarchal figure whose destructive will seems to control everyone and everything This desperate situation tears the boy in two because he doesnt seem able to chose between the old fierce of blood the fidelity to his father and his thrust towards justice and truth We will see that Barn Burning is actually the story of an initiation that will lead to the boys final refusal to help and support his father By denouncing this one Sarty will claim his own individuality and will gain his independence and freedom The opposition of sharecropper Mr Snopes and aristocrat Mr de Spain suggests social implications Several elements refer to this possibility The father points out that de Spains house is built with nigger sweat as well as the white sweat of the sharecropper He seems to view himself as a victim of an unfair socio-economic system he burns with a ravening and jealous ragep169 he is the element of fire the narrator speaks to some deep mainspring of Mr Snopes being as the element of steel or powder spoke to other men as one weapon for the preservation of integrity used with discretionp166 The father does not make any discrimination between the rich and the poor For him there are only two categories of people blood kin and they into which he lumps all the rest of mankind and this division relates to his son s crisis to be related to the problem of
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