William Faulkner Writing Styles in Barn Burning

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The most noticeable feature of Faulkner's style, in "Barn Burning" and elsewhere, is his syntax or sentence structure. Faulkner's sentences tend to be long, full of interruptions, but work basically by stringing out seemingly meandering sequences of clauses. The second sentence of "Barn Burning" offers a case in point: It is 116 words long and contains between twelve and sixteen clauses, depending on how one parses it out; its content is heterogeneous, moving from Sarty's awareness of the smell of cheese in the general store through the visual impression made by canned goods on the shelves to the boy's sense of blood loyalty with his accused father. It is the subjectivity of the content—sense impressions, random emotions and convictions—which reveals the purpose of the syntax, which is to convey experience in the form of an intense stream-of-consciousness as recorded by the protagonist. The reiterated "and...

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This section contains 676 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Barn Burning Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Barn Burning from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.