Barn Burning: Family Vs. Morality Essay

573 words - 2 pages

Barn Burning: Family vs. Morality 

The theme of Faulkner's "Barn Burning" is Sarty Snopes's desire to break away from the oppressive conditions of his family life. Sarty gains this freedom when he decides to warn the de Spains because his father's violation of his own sort of morality liberates him from what he calls the "pull of blood," or duty to his family.

 

The narrator describes Sarty's father, Abner Snopes, as such: "There was something about his wolf-like independence and even courage . . . which impressed strangers, as if they got . . . a feeling that his ferocious conviction in the rightness of his own actions would be of advantage to all whose interest lies with his" (218-19). Sarty believed in this conviction of his father's. He was prepared to defend his father at the first trial: "He aims for me to lie, he thought, and I will have to do hit," and he fights the boy twice his size who calls out, "Barn burner!" (217-18). Still, he hopes that the fires will end, thinking, "Maybe he's done satisfied now," but when Abner begins to set ablaze his next barn, Sarty extinguishes the family ties (218). This time his father breaks his own moral code by not sending anyone to warn. Sarty pleads, "Ain't you even going to send a [slave]?" "At least you sent a [slave] before!" (227).

 

This violation liberates Sarty from the "the old blood which he had not been permitted to choose for himself" (227). During the first trial, as Sarty prepares himself to defend his father he experiences, "the smell and sense just a little of fear because mostly of despair and grief, the...

Find Another Essay On Barn Burning: Family vs. Morality

Barn Burning Analysis

941 words - 4 pages frockcoat which had not been made for him, the voice harsh like tin and without heat like tin”(517) as if he is less than human. Fire symbolizes threat in “Barn Burning,” and it is a means of Snopes avenging others for power. Poor and powerless, turning to fire makes Snopes feels like he is in charge, even if it is only for one brief blazing moment. The expensive rug represents the life Snopes wishes for his family. He intentionally steps in “ fresh

Faulkner's "Barn Burning" Charactors Essay

593 words - 2 pages Faulkner's "Barn Burning" involves the Snopes, a sharecropper family that has moved 12 times in the memory of the primary participant, Sarty. Sarty is the youngest of four children to Abner and Lennie Snopes. The older brother and twin sisters are not named. Also with the family is Lennie's sister, Lizzie. Of this family, Abner and Sarty are the most active, around whom the theme focuses. Also, the land owner, Major de-Spain, is the latest

Transition from Son to Citizen in Faulkner's Short Story, Barn Burning

892 words - 4 pages In William Faulkner’s short story, “Barn Burning” we can follow the transition of a child from a loyal and devoted son to a law obeying citizen. The inadvertent transition is done by his own father and his rather cruel exercise of fatherhood. As a result of abusive parenting, and the lack of love, the son learns how to separate loyalty from morality even if he has to pay a hefty price: the loss of the father, whom he adored once as

The Initiation of Sarty into Manhood in "Barn Burning"

806 words - 3 pages The central theme in William Faulkner's "Barn Burning" is initiation and morality. Young Colonel Sartoris "Sarty" Snopes is confronted with the conflict between loyalty to his family and to honor and justice. Emphasis on family loyalty becomes apparent immediately at the opening of the story, when Sarty is already feeling the "old fierce pull of blood" (400). In front of a Justice of the Peace in a makeshift courtroom, Sarty is already

Barn Burning a domestic and social power struggle

638 words - 3 pages emerging from a white down the hall. "Barn!" he cried. "Barn!"(Faulkner). After Sarty informs De Spain of the burning of his barn. In the end Abner was killed to prevent the burning of De Spain's barn. In morning and also relief Sarty decides it is best he leave his family and everything behind him. He went on down the hill, toward the dark woods within which the liquid silver voices of the birds called unceasing - the rapid and urgent beating of the

Barn Burning

605 words - 2 pages The Differences between Abner and Sarty In the short story "Barn Burning", William Faulkner tells the story about the conditions of the wealthy and the poor working class during the Civil War reconstruction. Times are hard and conditions are not improving for the future. William Faulkner uses the themes of oppression in the story of the Snopes family. The Snopes family is poor white tenant farmers. Among the Snopes family, is Abner Snopes

Barn Burning

616 words - 2 pages him loyalty to him and the family, but Sarty who has stock between justice and the family bond, eventually decides to hand in his father). Sarty notices and perceives the injustice ( his father's barn burning and making him say lies in the court) and because this understanding of injustice is stored in his soul and mind, inevitably reacts against them.If barn, which in hungry Sarty's point of view smells like cheese, is interpreted as a sign of

William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily and Barn Burning

1207 words - 5 pages got to learn. You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain¡¦t going to have any blood to stick to you¡¨ (¡§Barn Burning¡¨, 8). His father wants him to pledge loyalty to his own family, but Sarty can not tolerate his father¡¦s conduct. When his father sets fire to burn down another barn, Sarty thoroughly despairs of his father. He notifies the landlord of the fire, and runs away from his family. ¡§He [Sarty] did not look back¡¨ (¡§Barn

Sarty's Point of View in Barn Burning by William Faulkner

1751 words - 7 pages 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

Character in William Faulkner's Barn Burning

640 words - 3 pages Character in William Faulkner's Barn Burning The use of concise imagery and brilliant description in William Faulkner's "Barn Burning" gives depth and familiarity to his two main characters. It is the poignant story of a boy's inner struggle between his inherent sense of right and the constricting bonds of blood which tie him to his evil, domineering father and pathetic family. Faulkner often attributes to his characters animal-like

Barn Burning by William Faulkner

1806 words - 7 pages moment Sarty is now given the choice of being loyal to his family or to his mind which is telling him to do what is right. Sarty would go on to warn the plantation owner about Abners intentions, which during this moment Sarty would dismiss the little loyalty he had for his family and run away from his family, where the story would end. The conflict that Faulkner shows in “Barn Burning”, helps to convey his major theme of loyalty. The critic

Similar Essays

Loyalty To Family In Barn Burning By William Faulkner

701 words - 3 pages Loyalty to Family in Barn Burning by William Faulkner The short story "Barn Burning" by William Faulkner is a stark look at the struggle of a boy to try to do what is right, or do what is best for his family during the post Civil War era. The main character, Sartoris Snopes is a poor son of a migrant tenant farmer who, in the opening scene is being questioned about the burning of a farmers barn by his father, Abner Snopes. The boy is

Barn Burning Essay

623 words - 2 pages Barn BurningIn the story "Barn Burning" by William Faulkner, Sarty Snopes is the son who is in conflict with his father's opinions. Sarty's views on this conflict become evident as the work progresses. The effectiveness of Sarty's point of view is shown during his conflict with his father, and his internal conflict between staying loyal to his family and doing the moral thing. The views of Sarty are clearly shown throughout the story as

Barn Burning Essay 591 Words

591 words - 2 pages Angelou Palma 2/8/13 ENG 120Barn BurningWilliam Faulkner's "Barn Burning" deals with the theme of morality and family. The story deals with inner turmoil Sarty Snopes faces as he decides what is wrong and right. Throughout the story, Sarty must continually make the choice of going along with or going against the actions of his father. Sarty's father values blood and loyalty over the law and Sarty's conscience struggles to conform with those

Both Sides Of The Coin: Characterization Analysis Of Abner Snope

1207 words - 5 pages were not worth the breathing, and hence to be regarded with respect and used with discretion” (150). According to Edmond Volpe, the author of “Barn Burning”: A definition of Evil, states “[t]he fact that Ab walks with a limp casts no shadow, and is associated with fire makes him seem almost Satanic” (79). Despite his actions morality, he is a tragic hero with a huge mistake because he stands up to fight the status quo by burning barns of upper