Thesis statement: In "Barn Burning," a short story by William Faulkner, a boy finds that he can no longer be governed by his father's ideas, tries to prevent his father from doing further harm, and leaves his family. I. The father is a barn burner and a former thief, whose concept of independence leads him to infringe upon the well-being of others. A. His antisocial actions include burning the barns of people who offend him and deliberately ruining his landlord's rug. B. He is harsh to his family: they live in poverty, he ignores his wife's feelings about his conduct, and he expects his son to publicly lie for him.
II. Torn and unhappy at first, the boy gradually achieves a sense of his own values and of what he should do. A. Initially he tries to see his father's enemies as hits own, prepares to lie for him, and follows his orders. B. Appreciation for the peace and stability represented by . the landlord's house is a major factor in his ultimate decision to uphold that peace at the potential cost of his father's life.
III. The daring of the boy's action is contrasted with the passivity of his siblings and the ineffectuality of his mother and aunt.
IV. Aspects of the story that attain symbolic importance include the barn burning, the landlord's house, and the mother's clock. V. Conclusion: "Barn Burning" is a detailed study of a boy with an antisocial father who acts to uphold a more stable way or life.
In "Barn Burning," a short story by William Faulkner, th
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Category: Literature - B
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