Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 4

Dykes 1

Devon Dykes
Dr. Theresa Starkey (TA: Kevin Cifarelli)
English 224
3 April 2012
Faulkner within Blood
In William Faulkners story, Barn Burning, the Snopes family must deal with the
challenging consequences stemming from deceit bestowed by their father. The main character
and adolescent son Sarty Snopes sees his father in a spectrum a child never should see their own
parent. Within the tale there is a strong presence of regionalism that reflects the explanation why
the family is treated dominantly by the father Abner Snopes. The witness of violence and
bloodshed while having a dysfunctional relationship with Abner Snopes takes a toll on Sartys
own sense of self through the journey of discovering his own manhood.
A frightening image is not only set up by the plot of the story, but Abners physical
description of having a limp when he walks and the grimness in his voice is not a comforting
scene for a child. After Sarty is hit by another child after the court trial, his father immediately
orders him to get in the wagon. There is a major lack of nurturing in Abner that foreshadows
Sartys troubled experiences. The audience first experiences the physical violence when he is hit,
then the audience experiences the scene of blood when Sartys mother attempts to comfort him.
Sarty reacts to his mothers help in shame and distance most likely based on how his father
judged the scene. Abner exemplifies no care or remorse for his own son being injured from
Dykes 2

Sartys position as an innocent victim. The audience can even concur that Abner believes Sarty
deserves the blow to the face based on the previous scene in court.
Another instance of abuse and violence tagged throughout the story is when Sarty is
called over by his father during the night,- a shape black, flat, and bloodless as though cut from
tin in the iron folds of the frockcoat which had not been made for him, the voice harsh like tin
and without heat like tin:. Abner is described as inhuman and not a part of a caring world. He is
seen to be evil and not relatable to any degree. In this scene there is no mercy between son and
father. Before the reader has the opportunity to read the dialogue it is evident what will occur
between the two distant characters.
When Abner accuses Sarty of almost confessing to the court, he is met with Abners swift
hand that conducts no mercy upon Sartys head. Abner tells him, Youre getting to be a man.
You got to learn. You got to learn to stick to your own blood or aint going to have any blood to
stick to you. All of the major themes within this story lie within Abners text. The father uses
not only physical violence to dominate his son Sarty, but he also uses emotional and
psychological abuse to control Sarty. It is evident that Abner was most likely treated with the
same upbringing by his father. It is possible to break the cycle of abuse, but if no one has a
reason to they probably will continue to live life as they were taught how. At the end of the
beating Abner tells Sarty to go to bed as if his hitting him had never occurred. This is not an
unusual experience for either of the characters, so that is why the reactions are taken so casually
and the family triggers back into their mediocre routine.
Throughout the scenes of the story the mother is riddled as a character that tends to her
family as the one who is helpful and soft. The anger in Abners dialogue to Sartys is obvious
Dykes 3

when he tells him to set up the wash pot, but when the mother enters the conversation to take on
the duty Abner shuffles her off to go make dinner. Everyone has their role that was developed by
society as well as personalized by Abner. Women are seen to cook or clean, while men are seen
to commit physical labor and be talked down to by their superiors. There are infinite occurrences
that show Abner has no respect to Sarty, but he also has no equal respect to his wife when he
orders her around speaking to her as if she were his work slave. This verbal abuse sheds light on
the violence within the family and can trigger everyones emotions to their individual solitude.
As Abner is preparing the kerosene and lamplight, the mother attempts to defer what is
going to happen. He instead pushes her down to deflect her. He cannot even be a civil human
being instead he acts as if he is a beast and treats his wife as though she were an animal. When
Sarty manages to get away he realizes that he is alone and has no desire to go back to his life of
blood and violence put on by his father. When Abner is met with the less forgiving fate of death,
it gives the audience and characters a sense of solitude and peace. It is immediately interpreted as
a revenge story, however once all over it is a story of despair.
Throughout Barn Burning there is a path of mistakes led on by the father Abner
Snopes. He dictates and commands his family through his crude words and jagged abuse. The
father uses violence to prove his point and sees the bleeding as a gratifying moment in his
experiences. He sees manhood as belittling his own soon and not controlling his own fear. Abner
demolishes all possibilities of a pure relationship with his family when he treats them like wild
hogs on a farm. His son Sarty is treated the worst and seems to find little dignity in the end. As
Sarty sits on the hilltop waiting afterwards, he decides as a man on his own to not look back.

Dykes 4