Barn Burning

Lennie Snopes Character Analysis

Abner’s wife Lennie is only named once in the story; she is usually referred to as Sarty’s mother. Unlike Abner and Sarty, Lennie does not seem to have much of an independent life outside the home, where she dutifully works in support of her family’s needs. Instead she lives in perennial fear of Abner’s next moves, even while she understands that it’s useless to try to stop his actions. Lennie loves her children, but her main emotion is desperation: just as Abner sees himself as unable to control society, which he so desires to conquer, she feels out of control within the family.
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Lennie Snopes Character Timeline in Barn Burning

The timeline below shows where the character Lennie Snopes appears in Barn Burning. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Barn Burning
Resentment, Race, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Aspiration, Desperation, and Defiance Theme Icon
Sarty’s two “hulking” sisters, his mother, and his aunt are waiting for them with their old, run-down pieces of furniture loaded... (full context)
Independence and Justice Theme Icon
Loyalty, Family, Blood Theme Icon
Sarty wonders to himself whether his father is satisfied, now—maybe it’s over. His mother asks Sarty if his shoulder hurts, and he brushes her off. He doesn’t know where... (full context)
Aspiration, Desperation, and Defiance Theme Icon
...all the dozen others they’ve lived in since Sarty was born, ten years ago. The mother and aunt begin to unload the wagon, while one sister says the house probably isn’t... (full context)
Aspiration, Desperation, and Defiance Theme Icon
Independence and Justice Theme Icon
...to set up the wash pot (though she tells Sarty to do so). With the mother looking on anxiously, he orders the daughters to clean the rug: lethargically, they pick it... (full context)
Aspiration, Desperation, and Defiance Theme Icon
...the rug with harsh homemade detergent while the father stands over them implacably. Then the mother comes over and looks at them in despair. Abner picks up a fragment of field... (full context)
Aspiration, Desperation, and Defiance Theme Icon
Loyalty, Family, Blood Theme Icon
...the rest of that week Sarty works steadily and dutifully, which he’s learned from his mother. With the older women he builds pens for the animals. One afternoon, when his father... (full context)
Resentment, Race, and Prejudice Theme Icon
Aspiration, Desperation, and Defiance Theme Icon
...home and eat supper. Suddenly, as Sarty is sitting on the doorstep, he hears his mother cry her husband’s name and repeat, “No!” He turns around and watches his father empty... (full context)
Aspiration, Desperation, and Defiance Theme Icon
Loyalty, Family, Blood Theme Icon
...can into the bigger one. He then drags Sarty into the other room, telling the mother, “Lennie,” to hold him, or else he’ll escape to the main house. Abner departs. (full context)
Aspiration, Desperation, and Defiance Theme Icon
Independence and Justice Theme Icon
Loyalty, Family, Blood Theme Icon
Sarty begins to struggle, while his mother catches him in both arms. Sarty cries that he doesn’t want to have to hit... (full context)
Aspiration, Desperation, and Defiance Theme Icon
Loyalty, Family, Blood Theme Icon
His mother cries at his sister to grab him, but his sister—a twin, we now learn—is too... (full context)