He reminds himself that his father’s enemies are his own. “The smell and sense just a little fear because mostly of despair and grief, the old fierce pull of blood. He could not see the table where the Justice sat and before which his father and his father’s enemy (our enemy he thought in that despair: ourn! Mine and hisn both! He’s my father!)
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 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.
Struggle for Morality In the short story “Barn Burning” by author William Faulkner, the story follows a very young boy by the name of Colonel Sartoris Snopes, or Sarty for short. Is the main character in this tale of a moral boy with a very cold and vindictive father who possesses very little morality. The story starts with Sarty being asked to testify against his father in a barn burning incident and right away Sarty’s inner thoughts about truth, justice, and loyalty to family are tested. Sarty’s father is found innocent but told to leave town as soon as possible. They move on to take up work at a farm doing sharecropper work.
He's my father!)" (2176). Upon hearing the hiss of someone accusing his father of burning barns, Sarty feels "the old fierce pull of blood" and is blindly thrust into a fight, only to be physically jerked back by his father's hand and his cold voice ordering him to get in the wagon. As the Snopes' family leaves town, Sarty consoles himself with the hope that this will be the last time his father commits the act that he cannot bring himself to even think of : "Maybe he's done satisfied now, now that he has" (2177). Deep down, Sarty knows his father is not going to end his destructive rampage.
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.
Although the family accepts the nomadic life, Sarty (the son) dreams of having peace and stability. To have this peace, it only requires a lack of conflict. The Snope family was doomed to struggle due to Abner's constant instigation of conflict, the ongoing domination of his family and his complete lack of respect for the law. Abners instigation of conflict, gives him justification to destroy the center of livlihood (the barn) of those he envies. The "ravening and jealous rage" he feels when seeing DeSpains home for the first time, leads to his desire to destroy it in some way.
Sarty’s other family members include the mother, aunt, an older brother, and two twin sisters who are minor contributing factors in this story. The family knows the father is responsible for the burning of the barns and they even unwillingly help him at his requests. This story describes the family somewhat concerned for the father, but they never challenge his decision to burn the barns even though it is wrong. The critical point of the story is when Sarty decides to tell Mr. De Spain that his father is going to burn his barn. Sarty is in disarray because he doesn’t know what is going to happen to him next and is probably speculating that his family will never forgive him because the of the harm that will come to their father if he is caught in the act.
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.
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).