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"Barn Burning" by William Faulkner


Sarty Snopes is a ten year old boy whose family is forced into a world of poverty and fear. He lives with his father, mother, brother, two sisters, and two aunts. Sarty's father is a very bitter and mean man who burns barns of other people and then uproots his family to a new place. In the story, "Barn burning" by William Faulkner, Sarty Snopes is an underprivileged, lonely, and confused little boy who is struggling within himself to choose between family and morality.

Sarty is very underprivileged. Faulkner describes Sarty as "'Small for his age, small and wiry like his father, in patched and faded jeans, even too small for him, with straight uncombed brown hair and eyes as wild as a storm scud'" (p178 ). His family is very poor and has very few possessions. Faulkner describes just how poor the family is when he says "......the

battered stove, the broken beds and chairs, the clock......which had been his mother's dowery..." (p178).

Not only does Sarty come from a poor family, he is very lonely. He is not allowed to go to school. Because his father stays in trouble, Sarty is denied an education and a stable home. Sarty never knows where he is going to live from day to day. Faulkner says, "He did not know where they were going. None of them ever did or asked, because it was always somewhere, always a house of sorts waiting for them a day or two days or even three days away" (p.179). Sarty and his family are used to moving. He has moved 12 times in his ten years.

Sarty is a confused little boy. He loves and admires his father. However, he is having trouble understanding why his...