Essay about Cultural Criticism of Barn Burning by William Faulkner

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Cultural Criticism of Barn Burning by William Faulkner

In William Faulkner's "Barn Burning", a young boy must face his father and face

the reality of a racist society. He must also discover for himself that his father is wrong

and learn to grow up the right way in a racial environment. Faulkner's setting is one of

the most important literary elements in the story. He takes a young black boy and puts

him in a real world of chaos and disorder. In the South, race is one of the most important

factors in how one would live his or her life. The only way he can retain his own dignity in

the end is to believe in his own courage and goodwill.

The young boy, Sartoris, has a kind of loyalty for his father, Abner …show more content…

Sarty has moved out of childhood,

developing a mind and will of his own. He is no longer unperceptively loyal to his father.

Sarty becomes his own self-reliant person, instead of being the shadow of his father.

When he warns de Spain of his barn burning, Sarty becomes disloyal to his father and his

own heritage. At this time, blacks had to band together to fight off the white men and

oppression, but Sarty does not do this. After they flee the country, Abner is still abusive

to his family. Abner Snopes is full of hatred and he is always ready to defend himself even

when no one has an argument against him. This gives Sarty all the more reason to find


Sarty must choose to either follow the law or to choose the same path his father

did, a life that satisfied himself and no one else. The first time Sarty had to choose

between the law and his father he chose his father. He did not know much, only that the

white men were enemies and that he had to stick to his own blood. He was used to his

natural instincts and the teaching of his own heritage. That was not the case the second

time around. As he got older, he got smarter. He realized that the confrontations that his

father put him in were not right. When Abner goes to burn the barn in the new country,

this is the first time

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