Barn Burning: Sarty’s Struggle Barn Burning: Sarty’s Struggle Essay, Research Paper Sarah Inman English 2326, Rose (T 6-10) Response Essay 4 July 3, 2001 Barn Burning: Sarty’s Struggle The theme of William Faulkner’s Barn Burning is Colonel Sartoris Snope’s desire to break away from the oppressive conditions of his family life. He is pulled between his family and his morality. In this essay, I will discuss Sarty’s struggle between the two sides of his conflict and the point at which it becomes resolved. First, we will look at Sarty’s pull towards his family. At the first trial, we find Sarty looking at his father’s opponent sitting behind the table. Sarty identifies him as “his father’s enemy’, but he quickly changes his thought to “our enemy’.
Then after the trial, Sarty fights a boy twice his size because the boy yells out, “Barn Burner.’ These two instances are attempts by Sarty to fit himself into his family. He feels he might be able to do this by taking up his father’s offense. Later in the story, after Abner has ruined the rug, Sarty says to his father, “You done the best you could! If he wanted hit done different why didn’t he wait and tell you how! He won’t git no twenty bushels! He won’t git none! We ” ll gether hit and hide hit!’ This is another attempt by Sarty to find his place. Although he knows his father is guilty of ruining the rug, he is willing to help his father hide the crop to avoid paying damages. His father, Abner, even tries to influence Sarty’s decision. After camping the first night, Abner takes Sarty aside and tells him, “You got to learn.
William Faulkner and Susan Glaspell both used different techniques in disclosing round characters in their stories "Barn Burning", written by Faulkner, and in "A Jury of Her Peers", written by Glaspell. Sarty, in "Barn Burning", and Minnie Wright, in "A Jury of Her Peers" were both expressed as round characters by the authors. In "Barn Burning", Faulkner portrayed Sarty, a main character, as young ...
You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain’t going to have any blood to stick to you.’ These attempts to defend his family and his father in particular are his way of exploring this realm of his conflict. He is trying to find out if there is a place for him. He wants to know if it would be possible for him ignore his pull towards morality and remain in this situation. I think he spends a great deal of time watching his father and defending his father because it would be much easier to stay than to leave. Now, we can look at the other side of the pendulum. Sartoris Snope is also being pulled away from his family.
We see grief and despair evident in the very instances where he is defending his father and trying to find a place in his family. When he changes his thought of his “father’s enemy’ to “our enemy’, the narrator indicates that he does this with despair. When he is called to testify in the first trial he thinks, “He aims for me to lie. And I will have to do hit.’ Again, the narrator states that this thought comes with frantic grief and despair. In these two instances, we see the pendulum swinging very quickly between the two extremes. Sarty tries to defend his father but it is with grief and despair.
If a person truly believes in what or who they are defending it would not be with grief and despair but with confidence and persistence. Upon seeing the de Spain mansion, Sarty thinks, “They are safe from him. People whose lives are a part of this peace and dignity are beyond his touch, he no more to them than a buzzing wasp: capable of stinging for a little moment but that’s all; the spell of the peace and dignity rendering even the barns and stable and cribs which belong to it impervious to the puny flames he might contrive?’ After the rug has been ruined and the twenty bushels requested Sarty has this thought, “Maybe this is the end of it. Maybe even that twenty bushels that seems hard to have to pay for just a rug will be a cheap price for him to stop forever and always from being what he used to be; Maybe he even won’t collect the twenty bushels.
Barn Burning: Sarty's Transformation Into Adulthood Essay, Barn Burning: Sarty's Transformation Into Adulthood Barn Burning: Sarty's Transformation Into Adulthood In William Faulkner's story, "Barn Burning', we find a young man who struggles with the relationship he has with his father. We see Sarty, the young man, develop into an adult while dealing with the many crude actions and ways of Abner, ...
Maybe it will all add up and balance and vanish – corn, rug, fire; the terror and grief, the being pulled two ways like between two teams of horses – gone, done with for ever and ever.’ It is in these two thoughts that we really see the desire of Sarty. He longs for the peace and dignity that he associates with the de Spain plantation and he longs to be free of this conflict. He hopes for one the one thing that can free him, for his father to change. Sarty, like most of us, would rather not have to make this life altering decision, but in the end, he must. The end to the conflict comes when Sarty realizes that his father is going to burn the de Spain’s barn.
Sarty questions what his father is doing and it is at this point that Abner realizes that he has made his decision. Abner tries to contain him by having his mother hold him but Sarty gets free and runs to warn the de Spain. It is at this point that we know the end to the conflict has arrived. Instead of running back to the house to help with the fire, Sarty runs into the wood and continues to run. He is leaving and he is not looking back.
He decides to stand on the side of morality and turns his back on his family. Sartoris Snope resolved his dilemma by exploring both sides of the coin. He then found something that represents his ideal situation, the de Spain plantation. Then he made his decision and he did not look back.
The conflict that Faulkner brings to life in the Barn Burning is not uncommon. We each face a similar struggle at some point to find our morality. It is simply part of the human condition.