Critical Analysis Of Barn Burning

772 Words4 Pages
Kaitlyn Booth
Dr. Davis
November 20, 2017
Barn Burning Critical Essay In William Faulkner's "Barn Burning," the audience gets a glimpse of the ongoing trouble between a son and his father. The son, Sarty, must decide what is best for himself instead of standing up for his father's wrong choices. The father, Abner, is a jealous, unforgiving, unapologetic, and disrespectful man. However, Sarty overcomes the negative actions and rises against his family to do what it truly right. The theme of this story is that the right thing is to always stand up for the right thing. Doing the right thing is proof of coming of age, and showing maturity. Since the beginning, Sarty knew his father wasn't treating people fairly. Sarty states, "Maybe he will feel it too. Maybe it will even change him now from what maybe he couldn't help but be" (Faulkner 20). The quote is stated as Sarty and Abner make their way to the de Spain house. Sarty is hoping his father had learned his lesson from ruining the rug and will do the right thing this time around. Abner never learns his lesson and believes the men in the family should act like him. Proving this statement, Abner says, "You got to learn to stick to your own blood" (Faulkner 42). Although Abner believes Sarty is following in his footsteps, Sarty is more mature than he is and hates doing the things his father makes him do. For example, Abner expects Sarty to lie about his testimony. Sarty states, "He aims for me to lie ... And I will have to do hit" (Faulkner 57). Sarty is not the only one who knows his father is up to no good, Major de Spain also sees it. Major de Spain explains, "He aims for me to lie ... And I will have to do hit" (Faulkner 64). Although Major de Spain is not on Abner's side, Abner's family is. Sarty's brother tries to stop Sarty from telling on Abner by yelling, "Better tie him to the bedpost" (Faulkner 74)! Again, Sarty is very determined to do the right thing, and save Major de Spain's barn by commenting to his own mother, "Lemme go! ... I don't want to have to hit you" (Faulkner 87)! At the end of the story, Sarty eventually goes against his family and walks into the woods away from everyone. This is a huge symbol because it demonstrates Sarty
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