Colonel Sartoris Snopes

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Colonel Sartoris Snopes
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Snopes, Colonel Sartoris
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Ten-year-old Colonel Sartoris "Sarty" Snopes is the focal character in "Barn Burning." The youngest of sharecropper Abner Snopes' four children, he is "small for his age, small and wiry like his father, in patched and faded jeans even too small for him, with straight, uncombed, brown hair and eyes gray and wild as storm scud" (4). The story begins by describing his hunger for the food on sale in the country store where his father is being tried as a barn burner, but revolves around his deeper, more despairing hunger for something less tangible - for "peace and dignity" (10) in a world that is "ordered" differently from the one he was born into (9). Sarty is named for Colonel John Sartoris, a towering figure in Yoknapatawpha County lore; unlike his namesake, however, Sarty himself never appears in any other Faulkner text. He is vaguely evoked in The Hamlet when Ratliff, recalling an event in "Barn Burning" - the Snopeses arriving at the De Spain plantation - vaguely recalls the presence of another son besides Flem, a "little one" he remembers "seeing him once somewhere" (15).