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Barn Burning | Study Guide

William Faulkner

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Barn Burning | Characters

Character Description
Sarty An honest and earnest 10-year-old boy, Sarty Snopes works with his older brother and father, a tenant farmer. Read More
Abner Abusive and violent, Abner Snopes is a resentful, deceitful tenant farmer and arsonist. Read More
Lennie Downtrodden, hardworking, and long-suffering Lennie Snopes is married to Abner and is the mother of four children. Read More
Major de Spain A rich landowner living in a grand mansion, Major de Spain rents a shack and farmland on his property to the Snopes family. Read More
Mr. Harris Mr. Harris is a landowner who accuses Abner of burning down his barn. Read More
The Aunt The aunt lives with the Snopes family, helping and supporting her sister Lennie.
Unknown black man This unknown man threatens Mr. Harris on Abner's behalf, saying, "Wood and hay kin burn."
Blacksmith The blacksmith repairs the Snopes family's wagon after Abner's day in court against de Spain.
Boy at court This unknown boy hisses, "Barn burner!" and bloodies Sarty's nose after the trial with Mr. Harris.
The Brother Sarty's older brother follows their father's lead and seems untroubled by Abner's violent actions; he may well follow in his father's footsteps.
Mrs. de Spain Mrs. Lula de Spain, or Miss Lula, is a simply dressed, unremarkable lady of property, who bristles at Abner's intrusion and remains angry about the spoiled rug.
Justice of the peace (1) The fair-minded justice for Mr. Harris's case releases Abner because of lack of evidence.
Justice of the peace (2) The justice for Major de Spain's case rules against Abner but reduces the penalty in an effort to be fair.
Man at blacksmith's Abner passes the time chatting with the blacksmith and this man on the day he burns Major de Spain's barn.
Servant An object of Abner's scorn, this unnamed man, possibly a former slave, is dressed in livery and works as a servant in the de Spain house.
Young servant Described as a youth, the young servant helps his employer, Major de Spain, bring the rug to the Snopes family's cabin.
Sister (1) One of Sarty's twin sisters, she is lazy and dull witted. One sister is called Net.
Sister (2) Like her twin, this dim young woman does little work.
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