English 254                   Class #10   Wed, April 30

   Stevens, “Snow Man”   Faulkner, “Barn Burning" Prep for Midterm


"Snow Man"

  1. What’s the difference between a “snow man” and a “snowman”?



  1. What might the speaker mean by "a mind of winter"? Is this a good thing, a bad thing, or neither? Is the speaker suggesting that the reader should identify with winter?



  1. Winter is often a traditional symbol for death. Looking at the context, does Stevens use winter as a symbol for death here, or does he seem to be talking about something else? What else could he be talking about?



  1. What do the connotations of the words “regard” (line 2) and “behold” (line 5) suggest?



  1. How do you understand this paradox:

And, nothing himself, beholds

Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.



  1. How does this poem compare to “Emperor” and “13 Ways”?




“Barn Burning”

  1. What is the story's central conflict? How does the opening courtroom scene establish the conflict? For example, what internal conflict does Sarty feel when he thinks he will have to testify?



  1. Who is the protagonist? What does Sarty think about his father? Through what kinds of imagery is he objectified in the boy's consciousness?



  1. Who (or what) is the antagonist?



  1. What is Faulkner's attitude toward Abner Snopes? What details in the story might convey his attitude?


  1. How might the phrase "barn burner" stereotype Abner in the eyes of the community? In what ways does his fierce independence alter than stereotype? What seems to motivate his violent, antisocial behavior?



  1. What do the "big houses" seem to represent for Abner? for Sarty?



  1. Why does Abner try to make his son an accomplice to the burning of deSpain's barn?



  1. Identify the story's climax. Why does Sarty finally defy his father and try to warn deSpain?



  1. How is the story's central conflict resolved? How is the resolution reflected in the imagery of the final paragraph?



  1. Does the story have a theme? What is the subject? What is Faulkner saying about the subject?