Barn Burning By William Faulkner

Decent Essays
Colonel Sartoris Snopes, who is referred to as Sarty, is the protagonist of the short story Barn Burning by William Faulkner. Sarty is a ten-year-old boy who lives in the south of The United States in the 1890’s. Sarty is the only round character in the story. His father, Abner, expects Sarty to help him burn other people’s barns and lie to the Justice of the Peace. Surprisingly, Sarty has a sense of morality and justice, even though he has been raised by a terrible man. He may have gotten this sense of justice from being in courtrooms so often, or Faulkner is suggesting everyone is born with a sense of morality. Sarty has this trait throughout the entire story, but he changes by realizing he can make his own choices. He refrains from being morally correct out of fear of his father. There are three main points that mark Sarty’s growth in the story: the first courtroom scene, the de Spain Mansion scene, and the last barn burning scene. At the beginning of the story, Sarty is in a courtroom for a case against his father. Sarty seems like this situation is not new, and he has been to several cases against his father. However, this time, the prosecutor asks Sarty to testify against his father. Sarty wants to tell the truth but he is going to lie for Abner since he is scared of what his father might do to him. This affects him so much that he cannot feel the ground he is so nervous. A ten-year-old boy should not be put into this position. At this point, Sarty seems to be
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