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The Relationship Between Father And Son in William Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning"

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Normally in life, you look up to your father to be the care taker and to encourage you to make your own decisions on what is right and what is wrong. You figure your father should have your best interest at heart and to show compassion for you. In William Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning," Abner is the opposite of the normal father figure you would see. Rather than encouraging his son, Sarty, to make his own decisions on what is right and what is wrong, Abner wants Sarty to lie for him to protect his freedom, so Abner won’t get caught for burning barns. Abner forces fear into Sarty to make sure he will lie for him rather than tell the truth. The relationship between Abner and Sarty is struggling due to Abners abusiveness and criminal ways.

Abner tries to make a man out of Sarty by inflicting pain on him. “His father struck him with the flat of his hand on the side of his head, hard but without heat, ex...


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