Womens role in "Barn Burning" - A Short Story by William Faulkner

Essay by lspopCollege, UndergraduateB, September 2007

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In the short story "The Burning Barn" by William Faulkner the power is clearly yielded by the dominant father figure. Literary pieces from this time period are male dominated no matter what flaws the male characters might possess. The power is held by an ethically and morally corrupt man who does what he wants when he wants no matter the consequences. His wife and children are merely extra possessions and the tools he uses to get what he wants or exact his revenge on the people he thinks has wronged him.

Faulkner begins the story with the father on trial for burning a land owner's barn to the ground. The mother of the storyteller is not to be seen in the trial room and the father while on trial still yields his power over the son without saying a word. When called to the stand to tell what happened the father influences the son to be quiet and thus gets away with his crime.

The son, scared of his father, is afraid of the repercussions of telling the truth and cannot tell of the horrors of his father. The family is loading up to leave town yet again and the mother wants to comfort her child and is struck down by the father and is told to deny her motherly characteristics to care for her children. Power and strength is shown in the father and the mother is shown to be weak and powerless to her husband.

Once again the family must relocate after the father is accused of burning the barn. The father has found another farm that will let him farm for a rich landowner. The father picks the house and when they arrive barks the orders to the family. This is not a partnership and the...