William Faulkner's Barn Burning Essay

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William Faulkner's Barn Burning

William Faulkner, recognized as one of the greatest writers of all time, once made a speech as he accepted his Nobel prize for writing in which he stated that a great piece of writing should contain the truths of the heart and the conflicts that arise over these truths. These truths were love, honor, pity, pride, compassion and sacrifice. Truly it would be hard to argue that a story without these truths would be considered even a good story let alone a great one. So the question brought forward is whether Faulkner uses his own truths of the heart to make his story "Barn Burning." Clearly the answer to this question is yes; his use of the truths of the heart are prevalent throughout the story and
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Just outside the court room, after his father has been dismissed of all the charges, Sarty hears some boys calling his father a barn burner. Sarty quickly slips into a rage and begins a fight with these boys until he is knocked down by them and is taken away from the fight. This is when the importance of blood kin to Sarty becomes very clear. Sarty felt as though he was not just protecting his father's name and honor but also his own and that of his sisters and mother. The reader discovers Sarty knows of his father's guilt which is illustrated in the story by the following few lines "Forever he thought. Maybe he's done satisfied now, now that he has"(Faulkner 163) Sarty cannot complete this thought because it would bring forward the idea that not only is his father a barn burner but also that he has "already arranged to make a crop on another farm before he" (Faulkner 163) once again the reader gets cut off before his thought is completed which is simply that his father has been planning the burnings even to the extent of having a new farm to travel to before the land owner has ever crossed him. It is because of his love for his kin that Sarty is willing to shed his own blood in a fight with these boys even to defend a man that he knows is guilty of everything they have accused him of. Pride is very intermingled within everything in this story. It is clear that many of Abner's barn burning
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