Faulkner's "Barn Burning" takes place in the Deep South during the 19th Century and is a story about the relationship between a father and son. A father with a need to burn the barns of aristocrats resulting in dragging his family down with him; along with his knowledgeable son. This story presents itself through a lot of symbolism linked to Christianity. .
The first and main symbolism is fire. The meaning of the fire is taking into many ways, the character's personality and the Biblical beliefs. Abner is very much like the fires he sets, uncontrollable and destroy anything in its way, having respect for nothing. Abner's son, Sarty, attempts to put out the fire inside of Abner because he's sick of what his father is doing to the family and forcing them to share his punishments. Faulkner kind of writes this story as a moralist, portraying why a sensible approach to hardship and disappointments are essential in life to avoid someone's problems to get so bad that it devours them like an inferno. But fire can be seen not only as destruction but also as a way to purify. It cleans out what was there before, leaving ashes to make new soil and a new land. Fire was present when God spoke to individuals in the Bible. When God chose to speak to Moses, ". the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed" ( Exodus 3:2). 1 Kings 18:24 speaks also of God communicating to people by fire, "'Then you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the Lord; the god who answers by fire is indeed God.' All the people answered, 'Well spoken!'" Christianity, in addition to the tradition contained within the Hebrew Bible, also refers to fire in the New Testament. Before the beginning of Jesus' ministry, John the Baptist was asked quite frequently if he was the messiah. In Luke 3:16, "John answered all of them by saying, 'I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals.