Barn Burning: Perception

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Melissa Schnable
October 7, 2012
“Barn Burning” Perception
Sarty in “Barn Burning” is shown to be too young to testify in the opening scene of the story because of his age. This limit helps him from revealing too much knowledge that would impact his father’s persecution. I believe throughout the story, there is more detail that goes into the relationship struggle between Sarty and his father than the explanation of the class conflict crisis happening between the sharecroppers. When his father pulls him aside the first time, it was because he knew Sarty would have told the Justice of the Peace the truth had he been given the opportunity. His father teaches him a lesson that you never turn your back on your family, however in the end Sarty eventually does.

This goes back to the tradition that his father created moving from one family to another. Sarty was growing up enough to realize that it was wrong for them to be happening, and he was wise enough to see that other family members were making the same references by saying things like “ain’t fittin for hawgs”. I think Sarty could see for himself that no one really wanted to continue this way of creating problems and moving from place to place, but no one could really stop it from happening. It was a conflict of learning to make your own decisions, even if it is not what your family believes or has always done in the past.

In the end, if his mother and aunt wanted to keep him from warning the land owner they would have. The aunt even made the comment “if he don’t go, before God, I am going up there myself!” They deep down wanted Sarty to make the run to warn him and try to end it once and for all. After Sarty heard the gun shots, it is not revealed who it was that actually was shot. He then hides in the woods and doesn’t make the trip back home, he then again is old enough to know that the decision he has made to turn against his own father would cause him to be unwelcome in his home. In the...
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