Barn Burning Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

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In the story "Barn Burning," what is the point of view and how does it create tension?

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William Faulkner's "Barn Burning " has a third person narrative point of view. This means that an outside observer is narrating events to a reader instead of one of the story's characters being the narrator. Often, a third person narrative point of view is third person omniscient. This allows the narrator to know anything and everything about each character; however, that isn't the case with this particular short story. The third person narrative perspective is more specifically a third person limited point of view. We are told a great deal about Sarty. We know his actions and his thoughts, but we do not know those kinds of details about other characters. Think of it like watching events from just over Sarty's shoulder instead of looking at events in the story from a top down "godlike" perspective. We see things through Sarty's eyes, but he is not the person telling this story, and that is why it is third person limited. Another interesting detail about this narration is that readers do...

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