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English Final Pt. 1- Lit. Analysis
In the short story Barn Burning by William Faulkner a powerful and motivational theme is crafted. This theme is the ability to change the present, break the cycles of the past, and create your own future all through one choice. Faulkner chooses specific elements to create the theme. This theme is built through the characters, their relationships, and the climax. These elements help shape the story into a story of the metamorphosis of a child.
In Barn Burning characters are very important in building the theme. The character of Sarty is the protagonist in Barn Burning. Sarty’s young age is important. This is because it makes his metamorphosis into his own person harder than it would be for an older, more mature, more experienced person. The character of Abner is also very important. Abner is the antagonist in Barn Burning. Abner is masochistic, racist, and everything he does is violent, but “without heat”. Abner refuses to admit when he is in the wrong, even when he has just destroyed someone’s way of life.
A complex relationship between Abner and Sarty is established by Faulkner. Sarty is constantly torn between his loyalty to his father and his own beliefs. This very scenario is captured in the opening scene of the book. Abner is on trial for burning down his neighbor’s barn and Sarty feels that this man, Mr. Harris, is his enemy. “Our enemy he thought in that despair; ourn! Mine and hisn both! He’s my father!” After Sarty thinks this he is called to testify against his dad. However, he does not want to lie, he knows what his father did was wrong and doesn’t want him to be able to do it again.
The climax of Barn Burning is the point that Sarty makes his decision to change his life. Abner is going to burn down Major DeSpain’s barn, and Sarty breaks free of his mother’s grasp and runs to warn DeSpain. Sarty chooses to warn DeSpain partially because he can’t stand to see his father ruin...
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