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Symbolism in Barn Burning by william Faulkner

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His father also inculcated the importance of blood in his mind. He used to say to his son, “ You’ve got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain’t going to have any blood to stick to you”( Faulkner 1040-60). The food in store In the beginning of the story Sarty’s hunger has been portrayed with the help of many relevant images. When we learn that Sarty’s stomach reads the cans of meat, we understand that he’s hungry and that he can’t read the words, but only the symbols, the pricture of fish and logon for deviled meat.

The cans are also sealed. Sarty is hungry and the food is present all around. But the food is not in his ready access. It is sealed off. Food may also represent those joys of life which are in the reach of the boy but are denied to him due to unscrupulous attitude of his father. The things in the Wagon and clock The things in the wagon reflect the sorry plight of the family. All the things in the wagon are broken.

It has “ battered stove, the broken beds and chairs, the clock inlaid with mother of pearl, which would not run, stopped at some fourteen minutes past two o’ clock of a dead and forgotten day and time, which had been his mother’s dowry” ( Fualkner 1040-60). The state of things in the wagon symbolizes the state of Snopes family which is disorganized and facing worst time of its life. Clock is stopped and broken. This thing also reflects that for the family time also has halted to a point of inertia.

The family is trapped in the cycle of time. The whole family works according to Abner’s clock and nobody can exercise his or her choice as the time is not theirs. (Shoomp Editorial team p 32). The black Coat Apart from these symbols other images do have some semantic significance. Abner Snope’s coat matches his personality. In the beginning of the Colonal Soartaris follows stiff black coat (his father). “His father turned, and he followed the stiff black coat, the wiry figure walking a little stiffly from where a Confederate provosts mans musket ball had taken him in the heel on a stolen horse thirty years ago” ( Faulkner 1040-60).

Both the coat and his father share the characteristic of stiffness. The black colour of the coat also symbolizes the inner darkness of Abner’s soul. Faulkner apart from realistic fiction employed certain literary devices to heighten the semantic scope of the story “ Barn Burning”. The writer has used all these symbols to materialize the mental states of the character and give tangible meanings to some abstractions depicted in the story in order to give the reader a clue what is actually happening in the story.

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