Barn Burning Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

Start Your Free Trial

What is the tone of William Faulkner's short story Barn Burning?

Expert Answers info

Walter Fischer eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2013

write4,089 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

William Faulkner's short story Barn Burning is fairly representative of this esteemed author and product of the American South. Uncompromising in its depiction of the ugliness endemic to the culture of the Deep South during the years Faulkner was active, Barn Burning quickly establishes a tone of gravity and poverty. As Barn Burning begins, the scene is a small market that doubles, when the need arises, as a courtroom--details that suggest that Faulkner's setting takes place in a very small town of minimal means. That the story that follows is meant to evoke some very serious imagery is evident in the awkward but reasonably descriptive passage that follows in which Faulkner's young protagonist, Colonel Sarty Snopes, absorbs the smells of his surroundings at the same time he observes the gravity of the situation:

". . .this, the cheese which he knew he smelled and the hermetic meat which his intestines believed he smelled coming in intermittent gusts momentary and brief between the other constant...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 918 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write13,728 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial