Character Analysis Of Sarty In William Faulkner's 'Barn Burning'

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Paper #1 Outline
I. Introduction: In William Faulkner’s Barn Burning, the young protagonist, Sarty transitions into an individual with a strong sense of integrity choosing between loyalties to his father and telling the truth to uphold justice.
II. Argument #1: Despite his father’s injustice, Sarty has an overwhelming fear of being disloyal to his family.
A. Because Sarty is named after a Colonel, the justice of the court assumes he will always tell the truth which further influences the idea that Sarty is willing to lie under oath to protect his father.
B. Sarty later has a conversation with his father reminding Sarty about his responsibilities to his family that must be taken into account regardless of what is the truth.
C. His father’s
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Argument #2: When the family moves to a new place for work, the large house represents truth and justice which then gives Sarty a false sense of hope that his father has moved past the burning of the barn.
A. The expensive rug which had been soiled by Sarty’s father is his was way of damaging something that has always been unfairly denied to him such as comfort and opportunity.
B. In the second trial, Sarty’s father, Abner, is given less of a punishment for damaging the expensive rug he once tried to “fix”. Sarty hopes this as an opportunity for his father to learn from his mistakes and will stop being corrupt for his family.
IV. Argument #3: Sarty own integrity in upholding justice breaks the strong blood ties in his family's undying sense of loyalty which ultimately lead Sarty to leave his family for what he innately sense is just.
A. Sarty realizes his father will never truly change, but despite his father’s injustice, he's coming into terms with his true self.
B. After his father leaves to set yet again another fire to a barn, Sarty struggles to break free from his mother's arms then his aunt agrees in letting him go to warn de Spain. Sarty’s newfound understanding of justice extends to his mother and aunt in that moment when he finally breaks

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