Essay on Barn Burning

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Use of Blood in “Barn Burning”      “Barn Burning” is about the struggle of a boy to do what is right during the Post Civil War era. The main character, Sartoris Snopes, is a poor son of a migrant tenant farmer. In the opening scene he is being asked by a circuit judge about the burning of a farmer’s barn by his father. The boy does not tell on his father and is not forced to do so, but he thinks that he would have done so had he been asked. The father, Abner Snopes, served in the Civil War for both sides and has difficulty venting his anger. Usually he does so through the burning of other people’s barns when they wrong him. The symbol of blood is used by Faulkner to contribute to the theme of loyalty to the…show more content…
Mine and hisn both! He’s my father”(481). Here this shows that the father has done this before and the boy is used to dealing with it.      The use of blood is also utilized when the father explains that the family must stick together. Following the courthouse scene the boy and his father talk about the incident and Abner states, “You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain’t going to have any blood to stick to you”(484). In saying this, it is almost as if he is trying to convince the boy to lie for his own blood.      The boy despises his father for all the horrible things he has done to people in the past, yet he still sticks up for him. After Abner has deliberately destroyed Major DeSpain’s expensive imported rug his son states, “You done the best you could”, “If he wanted hit done different why didn’t he wait and tell you how?”(488). Thus providing evidence that the boy still has some respect for his “blood”, and though he is against his father’s actions he still supports them because he is family.      Faulkner’s use of blood contributes to the theme of loyalty to the family in several ways. Throughout the short story there are many references to loyalty and sticking to your own blood. “Barn Burning” is a very in-depth short story and had to be read carefully in order to obtain the full meaning and recognize the

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