Barn Burning | Study Guide

William Faulkner

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Course Hero. "Barn Burning Study Guide." February 7, 2017. Accessed June 1, 2020.


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William Faulkner

Year Published



Short Story



Perspective and Narrator

The events of "Barn Burning" are described by a third-person limited omniscient narrator. The narrator views events mostly through Sarty's eyes but also provides information Sarty does not know.


William Faulkner's "Barn Burning" is written in the past tense.

About the Title

While the title suggests fire and destruction, there isn't much literal burning in the story. Instead, the process of burning means different things to different characters. For Abner the ability to start the burning process yields a sense of power. For Sarty the act of burning yields fear, destruction, betrayal, and loss. Sarty's memories of childhood will burn for years to come.


This study guide and infographic for William Faulkner's Barn Burning offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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