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.
as Sarty and his father are walking out of the courtroom, one thin, wiry body after another. Sarty immediately comes to his father's (and his own) defense and provokes a fight in which he literally sheds his own blood to protect the family name--a strong emphasis on blood loyalty. While Sarty does know that his father is a barn burner, he still defends his father's honor and hopes that "he's done satisfied now, now that he has..." (401-402) Sarty never finishes the thought, althoug... ... middle of paper ... ...y's mother is distracted enough to allow Sarty to escape. Upon hearing the news, the major gallops off on a horse towards the barn, with Sarty running after him. Sarty hears gunshots and it is made apparent that Abner is dead.
mine and hisn both,”(277) after which he challenges and is beaten by a boy “half again his size”(278) because the boy called his father a “barn burner”(278) he is left to make a critical decision between saving his family or his own morality. What prompts Sarty to betray his own moral character is his fear of Abner, who he describes as the “black, flat, and bloodless . . . voice harsh like tin and without heat like tin”(279).
Despite Troy?s continuous attempts to push himself away from anything he had ever known about his father, the inheritance of such irrational behavior was inevitable because it was all he had ever known. The inheritance of this angry behavior was, in turn, the cause of his damaging relationships with his own family. Just as Troy endured his father?s cruel ways, Troy?s family is left with no choice but to try to learn to live with his similar ways. Troy?s family is one that strives to maintai... ... middle of paper ... ...y as a responsible person. He overlooks Cory?s efforts to please him and make a career for his son, learned from his past with his own father, is responsible for the tension that builds between him and Cory.
The father, Abner Snopes, served in the Civil War for both sides and has difficulty venting his anger. Usually he does so through the burning of other people’s barns when they wrong him. The symbol of blood is used by Faulkner to contribute to the theme of loyalty to the family. One use of blood is shown when the boy is called to testify and is pressured by his father to lie. When the boy is on stand he is stressed by the fear that his father will do something crazy if he tells on him.
The dual instincts of loyalty and integrity are what plague Sarty throughout the story. Early on we see in Sarty’s actions his desire to defend his family, for example; when he is leaving the first courthouse with his family he fights the first person who calls him a barn burner. The narrator lets us know that Sarty is in a blind fury and unable to see or feel the person he is fighting. The passion that he feels is likely fueled by his inability to stand whole hearted with his father. When the family stops to camp for the night, Abner hits Sarty and then explains his view: that the people in the towns they leave only want t... ... middle of paper ... ...th and justice he cannot justify completely abandoning his father.
Everyday the boy and his father struggle to survive and at one point the boy states, I wish I was with mom, and his father interprets this statement as a desire to die. They continue struggling to survive until; finally they find a “safe haven”. This “safe hav... ... middle of paper ... ...er probably never would have survived. The two characters compliment each other because the boy “carries the fire” acting as a Messiah-like figure, seeing the good in everyone and everything. The father acts more as a realist, living in constant fear.
His father calls for him to go to their barn and retrieve a can of oil. Sarty starts for the barn. Then he realizes that he was doing what he was told out of obligation. “Then he was moving, running, outside the house, toward the stable: this the old habit, the old blood which he had not been permitted to choose for himself.” (Faulkner 181) Although he is tormented by his choice he returns with the can. When Sarty realizes that Abner isn’t going to send warning, he feels Abner is breaking his own moral code.
Henry’s occupation solidifies the fact that he has become his father, and proves that he cannot escape his fathers legacy. Henry does not like his father, calling him a “gobshite” multiple times. Despite this he does follow in the footstep of his father in certain aspects of his life. However, Henry does not totally become his father. For example, Henry rebels against Alfie Gandon, killing him the first time he sees him.
It was from Sarty's dilemma of family loyalty and the desire to please his father that kept him from doing the right things. Was his father so bitter due to experiences he had during the Civil War ? Was it society's fault for what happened to his father? Was Abner just born with his us against them attitude? These are all questions that Faulkner leaves with us after reading the "Barn Burning."