Barn Burning by Haruki Murakami: My Reviews

“Oh, by the way, have you seen her since that day?" he asked.

-from the story.

"Barn Burning," tells a simple yet dramatic story of arson, replete with unnamed individuals, a feeling of bereavement, and an atmosphere of mystique related to the underlying nature of consciousness.

The story is about a wealthy psychopath. Following a chain of actions that lead the narrator's nameless female friend to Algiers, where she befriends an aff l uent man who claims to be a businessman, the person abruptly discloses that he burns down stables, and the narrator falls into a strange predicament. There are signs that there is more going on besides barns getting burned — there's a sense of dread when the speaker describes the barns as carefully selected such that they don't draw notice once they vanish.

Months go by and the narrator does not fi nd his female friend. it becomes evident that barn burning was indeed a symbolic expression – albeit a strong one – evoking mystique and isolation, as well as a sense of regret at how quickly things, notable people, are forgotten in the society.

  • Topics I explored through this story.
    • The evil lurking behind apparent goodness.
    • Human life is not valued since the existing system circles around the capital, not humans.
    • Implied parts of the narration hold more meaning than disclosed ones in the stories and reality alike.
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