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The short story "Barn Burning" by William Faulkner is about a ten year old boy, Sarty Snopes, who has grown to realize that

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English II Essay on William Faulkner's "The Barn Burning" The short story "Barn Burning" by William Faulkner is about a ten year old boy, Sarty Snopes, who has grown to realize that his father, Abner Snopes, provides a life of "despair and grief" as he refuses to accept the "peace and dignity" generated by the ties with other people. In essence, Sarty is faced with the dilemma of choosing between his family (his blood) and moral conscience of what is right and wrong. Jane Hiles interprets this story to be about blood ties through Sartys character in dealing with his internal conflict with his father. More specifically, Jane Hiles refers to Abners statement, Jane Hiles refers to Abners statement to Sarty, i.e. "You're getting to be a man. You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain't going to have any blood to stick to you." I agree with Jane Hiles in her interpretation as the story clearly demonstrates Sarty's struggle to find a means in which to accept his father for the way he is as he does not want to betray his family by breaking the code, i.e "feeling of blood, of clan, blood for blood", but his conscience can't accept wrongdoing against others. ...read more.


Abner is pretty much an antisocial dominating man living in his own narrow-minded world. The story is told through the eyes of Abner's innocent son, Sarty. The story begins with Sartys respect for his father wherein he sees his father before the Court for an accusation of burning Mr. Harris' barn, and Sarty refers to the people as "our enemy...ourn! Mine and hisn both! He's my father!" Then the court looked for Sarty for the truth, but he stayed silent as he would have to lie to defend his father. Deep down Sarty wanted to do the right thing, but only being ten years old he thought it best to feel and do what his father wanted. As a result of his fathers wrongdoings, the family was again forced to move within the poor farm country for the twelfth time. However, this time the landlords home was "big as a courthouse". This was a sign of "peace and joy" for Sarty as it was different from what he had seen before. This "for the and at that instant he forgot his father and the terror and despair both. ...read more.


Nevertheless, Abner was not about to let his landlord "git no ten bushels neither. He won't get one." The "old habit, the old blood" of barn burning was what Abner was set out to do. When Sarty was sent out to get the oil, Sarty wanted to "run on and on and never look back", but instead he tried to stop his father by sidetracking him to "send a n****r". This caused his father to demand the mother to hold Sarty so that he could not get away, but he did. All Sarty wanted to do was warn the landlord, De Spain of the barn burning. Consequently two shots were fired. Sarty will never know if his father and brother were shot, but he does try to keep running as the "grief and despair now no longer terror and fear but just grief and despair", and breaks the blood tie from his family as he no longer wishes to suffer from his fathers actions. Regardless of Sartys decision to run away, he still cares for his family, including his father, but he realizes what his father does is wrong and he wants no part of it, even if its his own blood. ...read more.

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