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Barn Burning

             William Faulkner's short story, "The Barn Burning," discusses the problems of the sharecropper, in the late nineteenth century South; Primarily a story about the relationship between father and son, the story presents itself through the use of symbolism. The most vital symbol in the story is fire. The fire symbolizes the father's anger and, his lack of respect for other people's property. The story begins and ends with the burning down of a barn. Throughout the story, Faulkner uses symbolism in his struggle between morality and ethics. Is blood truly thicker than water?.
             Fire is used to represent anger. Abner always just walked away without much reaction, but inside he was always raging,. Because Abner would not vent or let out his anger it just kept growing and growing like a fire. The more injustice he was given the more the fire grew within himself. Abner would let the fire grow until he finally destroyed what seemed to have shown him the injustice. When Abner becomes angry, rather than searching for a reasonable answer for his problems, he resorts to rashly destroying the property of whomever he thinks wronged him. This shows the lack of respect Abner has for other people's property and belongings. This side of Abner shows he feels he can destroy anything to make things better and relates to fire perfectly. Fire destroys anything in its way, has respect for nothing and never feels remorse for what it has done. Just like fire, Abner does not respect boundaries. Abner stops at nothing and respects no one. Abner's relation to fire demonstrates his relation to his own anger, the immerse power that his anger has over him. Rather than venting his feelings, he holds them in, as he contains the small fire, until he can lash out with the full force of the hatred.
             Abner's son Sarty was the character with the most internal conflict throughout the story. He was faced with many different situations that required him to choose between his conscious and his family what he did was right.

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