5.2 Hope, Justice, and Peace in the Post-Civil War South
In this discussion, you will have opportunities to explore the issues of hope, justice, class, and race in “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner.
Upon successful completion of this assignment you will be able to:
- Identify various examples of literary devices.
- Explain how various literary devices are used to communicate truths about humankind in a work of fiction.
- Analyze the message of a piece of fiction using biblical principles.
- Textbook: The Pearson Custom Introduction to Literature
Read the headnote on William Faulkner (pp. 263-266) and the story “Barn Burning” (pp. 269-283). Navigate to the threaded discussion below and respond to the questions below for your initial post. Your initial post is due by day four of the workshop.
- The protagonist of a story is a character who undergoes a significant change or who symbolizes something significant in a story that is vital to the theme. If more than one character changes, the one who changes the most (the most dynamic character) is usually the protagonist. Which character would you identify as the protagonist of this story?
- Identify one thing that you think the character you identified as the protagonist hopes for.
- How does the character you identified as the protagonist change, or what do you think the character symbolizes?
- The antagonist in a story is the character or force that opposes the protagonist. Whom or what would you identify as the antagonist in this story, and why?
- Identify one biblical allusion in the story and explain what you think the significance of the allusion is.
- Do you think Faulkner wants the reader to admire or dislike the protagonist? Explain your reasoning.
- What does Faulkner’s attitude toward religion seem to be (as expressed through this story)? Support your answer with specific reference to the text.
- Choose a male character and a female character and explain how Faulkner portrays the relationship between them.
- In question 2, you identified what the protagonist hopes for. Compare the character’s hopes to the biblical worldview. Does the bible support or condemn what the protagonist hopes for? Support your answer with at least one quote from the Bible and explain how the scripture applies.
- At the beginning of the story, does Harris receive justice for his burned barn? Explain your answer.
- Does de Spain receive justice for his carpet? Explain your answer.
- Does Abner receive justice from the court? Explain your answer.
- Does Sarty receive justice? Explain your answer.
- Based on the previous four answers, what do you think Faulkner’s overall message is about justice?
- Why do you think Faulkner places the court inside a store, and how does this contribute to the message you identified in the previous question?
- What kind of peace is Sarty hoping for, and what kind does he actually find?
- What kind of peace is Abner hoping for, and what kind does he actually find?
- What kind of peace is Sarty’s mother looking for?
- Based on the answers to the previous three questions, what do you think Faulkner’s overall message is about peace?
- Write a thesis statement for this story using the following format: “In William Faulkner’s short story “Barn Burning,” he uses (specific literary device) and (specific literary device) to show that (specific universal truth).
- Find a quote from the story and explain how it can be used to support your thesis statement.