William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning” symbolizes the destructiveness of the human ego through the character, Abner Snopes. Throughout the story, Snopes functions and communicates based on his own logic. He has no regard for his family, superiors, or the judicial system. His unrelenting effort to live according to what he deems as “right” creates an atmosphere of fear and oppression. Following the barn trial, Snopes’ demeanor towards his son, Colonel Sartoris, clearly demonstrates his use of fear and intimidation to gain respect and conformity within his family.
Knowing the truth and knowing that he has to lie about it, terrifies him as he says: “He aims for me to lie, he thought, again with that frantic grief and despair. And I will have to do hit.” He shows unconditional loyalty toward his father by remaining silent, and forcing the judge who he sees as the “enemy”, to dismiss the case due to the lack of evidence. His devotion is depicted further as they leave the courtroom, and the boy gets in to an altercation with a bystander, “half again his size”, hissing at them: "Barn burner!" However his steadfastness to his father is not rewarded but rather expected by his brutal man. The father’s poor parenting skill, slowly erodes the boy’s loyalty.
Sarty's Point of View in Barn Burning by William Faulkner William Faulkner elected to write “Barn Burning” from his young character Sarty’s perspective because his sense of morality and decency would present a more plausible conflict in this story. Abner Snopes inability to feel the level of remorse needed to generate a truly moral predicament in this story, sheds light on Sarty’s efforts to overcome the constant “pull of blood”(277) that forces him to remain loyal to his father. As a result, this reveals the hidden contempt and fear Sarty has developed over the years because of Abner’s behavior. Sarty’s struggle to maintain an understanding of morality while clinging to the fading idolization of a father he fears, sets the tone for a chain of events that results in his liberation from Abner’s destructive defiance-but at a costly price. Sarty’s dilemma arises from his father’s destructive envy of his wealthy employers.
In the barn burning, the love between a father and a son should be based on genuine respect, love, loyalty, and admiration. This is not what happened. Blood was the most important aspect. Throughout this story the boy just wants to gain his father’s admiration, but in doing so he loses his blood tie with his father. In Barn burning, Sarty’s father is being tried, but since there is no evidence to prove that he did it, he is ordered to the leave the country.
His loyalty to family doesn’t allow for him to understand why he warns the De Spain family at such a young age. Faulkner describes how the Snopes family is emotionally conflicted due to Abner’s insecurities, how consequences of a father’s actions can change their lives, and how those choices make Sarty begin his coming of age into adulthood. The conflictions of the Snopes family in this story are of anger, fear, and despair. Abner Snopes, the father, is an angry man. He believes that he is always right, he is abusive, and is always being short-changed by life.
Sarty doesn’t want to lie, even if it means his father will get in trouble. Sarty gets mad when he realizes that he has to lie for his father’s sake “with that frantic grief and despair” (p. 207). Sarty knows his father will cause destruction everywhere he goes and once people are finally safe from his father, he feels elated for them. Once the family moves to a new farm, Sarty thinks “they are safe from him” (p. 211) with a feeling of peace and joy. Sarty desperately wants to leave his family, no matter the cost.
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.
Darl’s family wanted him gone because if he were taken away as an insane man, then Anse would not have to pay for the barn damages. Anse would do anything just to conserve their money and keep him out of trouble. His saved money only goes to his teeth, and would not spend a penny for anything. No one cares what may come about to another family member but what would happen to themselves. In the end, Anse and the other children’s selfishness led them to become psychotic people.
Laius could have saved Oedipus from numerous difficulties and horrible mistakes throughout his life but he doesn’t and as a result Oedipus makes terrible decisions that will affect his life in a negative way forever. As a result of Laius leaving his son in the wild to fend for himself, he leaves the opportunity for another father figure to appear. The shepherd com... ... middle of paper ... ...nately both Cory and Oedipus make it of their ordeals alive, but they are both mightily scarred for life. Oedipus physically loses both of his eyes once he finds out what he done to his real father and mother. If any of his other father figures had informed him who he was, that wouldn’t have happened.
While everyone was working on their farm, Unoka did nothing but drink, dance, and just plainly prayed to the gods. Okonkwo was ashamed of him and did everything possible to never end up like his father. When the narrator stated, “With father like Unoka, Okonkwo did not have the start in life which many young men had…But he threw himself into it like one possessed. And indeed he was possessed by the fear of his father’s contemptible life and shameful death” (pg. 18).