Barn Burning

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In “Barn Burning,” Faulkner incorporates several instances of irony. He utilizes this literary tool in order to help the development of his characters and to express his ultimate message to the readers. Some examples of his use of irony are the unintentional yet inevitable ending of the Snopes family time after time, the similarities and differences between Sarty Snopes and his father, and finally, the two distinct purposes for which Abner Snopes uses fire. Separately, …

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…achieve contentment, success, and stability. Faulkner’s message about the importance of individual values and ideals is well-expressed through “Barn Burning.” It is clear that Abner lacks both and is therefore unable to provide for his family and induces his own untimely death. Sarty represents the hope that could have easily fallen into the footsteps of an overbearing father but instead was wise enough to realize the fault in Abner’s ways and realign himself.