Essay about William Faulkner 's ' Barn Burning '

Essay about William Faulkner 's ' Barn Burning '

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Accomplice to Accomplishment
In “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner, follows the protagonist, Colonel Sartoris Snopes, also known as Sarty, a small, wiry 10 year old boy who has inherited innocence and morals from his mom, while attempted to be taught loyalty above all from his father. As well as his father, Abner, a serial arsonist who is cold, violent, and values loyalty. Also Sarty’s mom, Lennie, who is emotional, caring, and seems beaten down from the constant moving due to her husband’s illegal activities. The story follows them as they are run out of town due to Abner burning down someone’s barn because of dispute over escaping farm animals. While he is not convicted, they are forced to leave town. When they find a new home and place to stay Abner is continues his old antics. Sarty is changed and tested by multiple events in the story. First, he has morals and knows what his father has been doing is wrong. Second, Abner becomes increasingly aggressive and hits him. Third, he gets tired of moving and being scared of father. Sarty is changed and tested by the events in the story and changes near the end.
One way the protagonist, Sarty, is changed and tested throughout the story, is being tested by his own morals towards his father’s criminal actions. When Abner burns down the first barn, Sarty is conflicted on whether to lie about his father burning the barn or to tell the truth if he is called to testify against him in court. He knows it was wrong but knows his father wants him to lie and he has to for his well being. He says, “He aims for me to lie, and I will have to do it” (Faulkner 173). He is conflicted between his own moral beliefs and the loyalty to his family. He knows what his father did was wrong and should be...


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...e spring night. He did not look back” (Faulkner 183). Sarty realized that while a devastating loss it was losing his father he was no longer afraid of what he could do to him, his family, and to other people. Justice was finally served.
Colonel Sartoris Snopes was tested a lot in this story and by the end, changed a lot. He changed from someone who followed the wishes of his father before listening to his own beliefs and morals, to warning someone before he struck again, allowing his morals to take over and justice to be served. There were many events within the story which tested him and caused him to change. Conflictions with his own thoughts and morals, being hit by his dad, and being tired of running and being scared were the main reasons on why he changed. At the end of the story he is prepared to move on and face life without his father, free, with no worry.

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