Essay Example on The short story Barn Burning by William Faulkner









Growing up the most taught valuable lesson from right and wrong is through what we go through William Faulkner author of the short story Barn Burning shows through the story a young boy learning what right and what's wrong As the main character in this short story Colonel Sartoris Snopes also known as Sarty learns that his dad actions aren't right Sarty's father Abner moves their family around constantly and is a very destructive man Smarty had a rough childhood and throughout the story he grows to be a round character whereas in the beginning he was flat Sarty is a young boy 10 years old of age who is stuck between doing the right thing or sticking by his family However through its evident throughout the story Sarty s portrays little book knowledge He actually does have the knowledge of right and wrong This young boy has a distinct sense of justice in which he might have developed through spending so much time in courtrooms and listening to proceedings 

At the start of this short story Sarty becomes the main focus as he is the first witness to testify against his father on charges of burning a barn Sarty struggles with the relationship he has with his father and throughout the story it shows Sarty as a young boy who develops into an adult while dealing with the crude actions of his father As a youth Sarty questions faithfulness not only towards his father but himself and the society he lives in Throughout the story Faulkner displays three instances of a conscience spirit from the ways Sarty compliments and admires his father his language while describing his father and the way he obeys him as the story goes along The first instance is when we can see a transition from childhood to adulthood in Sarty s life by his compliments towards his father This is shown when he speaks of his father s wolflike independence 145 which causes his family to depend on almost no one Sarty admires his father tremendously and truly wishes that things could change for the better throughout the story He believes that they live on their own strictly because of his father s drive to survive 

When the father commands Sarty's sisters to clean the rug with force thought never raising his voice 148 shows how he sees his father as strict but not overly demanding Through the way his father displays authority in the household causes Sarty to feel dissent towards him As the ending comes to play Sarty s compliments become sparse and the tones become different surrounding them He spoke of his dad in a likewise heroic sense after running from the burning barn Sarty s mentioning He s was in the war 154 shows how he wanted everyone to remember his dad as a brave man and be remembered because of that and not burning barns Although he doesn't condone his father and his actions he still seems to care Another transition is found in the language he uses as He is describing his father Towards the beginning of the story he spoke as a young child watching and looking at the things around him Sarty mentions that an enemy of his father was our enemy 147 which shows how much Sarty looked up to his father and wanted to be like him As the middle of the story comes along the tone of his speech starts to change The change we see in Sarty s speeches when he ask his father if he wants to ride now 149 when they begin to leave deSpain s house This shows where Sarty has the courage to ask his dad certain things without fearing the consequences As the end approaches the language Sarty uses becomes clearer and more independent As he begins to run from the deSpain s house he cries for Abner saying Pap Pap 154 like a young child but when he stops and recall what took place like an adult he says Father Father 154 And though these examples of speech it shows his development

The last instance where he shows his development is when he develops a conscience in the way he obeys his father Sarty starts to do anything his father says For example when He is called to stand at his father s trail he says that his father aims for me to lie and I will have to do it 144 At the beginning of the story Sarty was totally loyal and as the short story progressed we see his obedience weaken After cleaning the rug we see Sarty s father ask if he has put the cutter back in the strait stock 150 and we see here is where Sarty disobeys his father for the first time when he says No sir 150 This is where he begins to have a say in a slight way But as the end come near his mind decides for its own self when he was told to stay home He told his mom for example Lemme go 153 To serve justice now He's willing to go to any length to disobey his father Through reading Faulkner s transitional phases of complements speech and loyalty of Sarty the clear transition from childhood to adulthood or innocence into a person with a conscience is displayed in Sarty Faulkner develops Sarty into a man of his own deeds throughout the story As Sarty progressively realizes that blood is not always thicker than water For example if one individual is doing wrong you must overlook the bond or relationship you have with the individual and look at the wrong deeds he is doing Eventually in the end the good will always prevail if you set straight the wrongs

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