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Literature - Essay Example

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Your Full Name Your Your 9 March 2011 Comparison between Two Short Stories by William Faulkner William Faulkner’s short stories “A Rose for Emily” and “Barn Burning” are essentially quite different; however, they do have some points in common…
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Download file to see previous pages “Barn Burning,” is also set in the Southern part of the United States, and tells the story of a little boy named Colonel Sartoris Snopes, or Sarty, whose father, Abner Snopes, bitter due to the class differences, is virulently acting out against the rich and influential even as he works for them. The story highlights the awkward relationship between the boy and his father, while also touching upon the young boy’s conscious and difficult decision to choose between familial loyalty and the truth. At the outset, both stories seem to have very different themes and plots. “A Rose for Emily” starts at the end of the story, and is a tale with gothic elements. “Barn Burning” on the other hand starts at the middle, and is essentially a tale regarding the triumph of what the protagonist perceives to be right over wrong. However, upon closer inspection, they do seem to have an identical theme – that of exploring a strange and strained relationship of children with their respective fathers. It is suggested in “A Rose for Emily” that Miss Grierson’s father was a strict patriarch. ...
However, after his death, she comes out of the hold that her father had on her. Although it is interesting to note that she does not want to come out of that hold herself. She is caught off guard when her father dies, and not knowing how to handle life now that her father is dead, is shown to have denied the death altogether. This, in essence, shows that she could not come to terms with living life independently. In “Barn Burning,” similarly, the relationship of Sarty with his father, Abner, is explored – although, here the analysis is much more in-depth than in “A Rose for Emily”. Abner Snopes is shown to be a man filled with vengeance and hatred for the rich. He holds them in contempt and carries out acts of, what he perceives to be, rightful retribution. Sarty Snopes observes all this and though he tries to side with his father, based on ideas of familial loyalty, it is shown that the father mistrusts him all the same. Abner is a very controlling man, who does not allow his family to challenge or even question his actions. His hold on his family is complete. However, despite that, Sarty, in the end, goes against his father when he goes to report the burning to the barn’s owner, De Spain. That is where these two stories seem to differ: Emily does not know what to do without her father’s hold on her. She cannot go against her father even after he has died, so much so that she refuses to acknowledge his death. Whereas in “Barn Burning,” Sarty willfully chooses to go against his father in reporting his actions to De Spain, thus, freeing himself of his hold. Both these stories are set in southern towns and explore certain “southern” values, so to speak. Miss Emily Grierson is caught between the changing times ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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