Themes - The main theme throughout Barn Burning is how one's character can affect another person's life. In the story, Sarty the protagonist is changed greatly by his father. His father, Snopes is a cruel, evil main with a heart for revenge. Throughout the story, Sarty has trouble distinguishing his Father's character between good and evil. Snopes forces his family from town to town, fleeing his crimes, changing his family's life with no remorse. Sarty defends his Dad believing at times he is a great man and at others times, Sarty is afraid of him. In the end of the story, Snopes' rash actions cause Sarty to become fatherless and run away.