Barn Burning By William Faulkner Essay

1678 Words Oct 4th, 2016 7 Pages
In William Faulkner’s short story “Barn Burning”, Faulkner narrates the tale of young Sartoris, a young illiterate boy with a deep sense of familial ties and the ability to distinguish right from wrong at a young age. Sartoris’ (Sarty) family has a deep devotion and loyalty to defending their father, Abner from any crimes he’ll commit, but most famously for barn burning. Sarty is the youngest in his family with his father, brother, his two sisters, mother and aunt all looming over him and influencing him. Sarty is very impressionable, inarticulate, and even untouched by education, but the boy still holds a deep sense of justice. As the story progresses we see Sarty take on challenges that any normal child would find daunting, but for Sarty, the events of getting beaten or defending his father are just normal. At a young age, Sarty is faced with decisions that will require maturity and insight that are far beyond his years such as testifying against his father, lying, and trying his best to foil his father’s plans, which ultimately shape Sarty’s character to no longer be seen as a “pawn” to his father. Although Sarty’s loyalty may have been to defend his father, Sarty’s ambivalence towards Abner’s unjust actions and treatment of his family results in cutting his “family ties”, doing the right thing by warning De Spain about his barn, and leaving his family for good.
Unfortunately, the story begins with Sarty going on trial to testify against his father, and lie that he…

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