William Faulkner is concerned with the south and its problems with black slavery. The issues in Barn Burning deal with the conflict between father and son. The theme of this story focuses on justice. The boy, Sarty, objects to his father burning barns and wants people to be treated fairly. His father, Abner, believes his son should respect and support kin. Abner thinks family is right no matter what. Faulkner's intent is to show that choosing between one's own family and justice is very difficult to do, and in the end justice must prevail. The theme is best illustrated by its point of view, its characterization, and setting.
Faulkner represents his point of ...view middle of the document...
Sartoris does it anyway because it is what he...
The man who was almost a Man
The story opens as Dave, the seventeen-year-old protagonist, heads home from a day working in the fields. He fantasizes about buying a gun and knows that if he had a gun his fellow workers would no longer treat him like a boy.
He goes into the local store and asks to look at catalogues. The proprietor, Joe, questions him about what he wants to buy and shows him an old pistol he wants to sell. Dave is excited that Joe is only asking two dollars for the gun and resolves to convince his mother to let him buy it.
He brings home the catalogue and looks at it during dinner. His parents question him about it but he waits until after dinner. When his father has left the room, he asks his mother for the money he has been saving.
Dave’s mother first dismisses Dave’s request, calling him a fool; but when Dave suggests that he could buy the gun for his father, she reconsiders. She gives him the money and tells him to bring the gun straight to her. He buys the gun, but doesn’t go home right away. Instead he plays with the gun until he knows everyone has gone to sleep. Then he leaves for work early, taking the gun with him.
His boss, Mr. Hawkins, questions Dave about why he is early and then sends him to a field to start plowing. In the field he fires the gun and its strong recoil causes him to drop it. He looks up to see Jenny, the mule pulling the plow, running across the field. When he catches up with her he sees that she is bleeding. He tries...