Barn Burning Rite of Passage

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Jasmine RiveronRiveron 1
Prof. Gray
ENC1102
03/20/2013

All Grew Up, Except One
William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning” has a dynamic character, Sarty, whose individual maturity increases throughout the story and initiates a moral and healthy lifestyle for him. In this story, Sarty is faced with a lot of drama regarding his family and this helps him build his personal maturity to truly evaluate the negative and positive aspects of his life. The short story “Barn Burning” is defined as an initiation story because Sarty, the 10-year-old boy goes through the right of passage. In the beginning of the story Sarty defends his vindictive father, Abner Snopes, later he feels joy when he sees this beautiful house and his father owes twenty bushels for ruining the rug and finally at the end he speaks of his father in the past. One of the major external conflicts is between Sarty and his father because Sarty knows that burning barns is immoral, but he is afraid of his dad and will not speak up.

At the start of this story, Sarty can be characterized as a shy, illiterate boy who is intimidated by his father. Immediately following Abner's first barn burning of the story, Sarty is convinced that his father's malignant actions are profoundly immoral. “He aims for me to lie, he thought, again with frantic grief and despair. And I will have to do it.” The little boy is also conscious that opposing Abner's actions would be a sense of betrayal. After the court hearing, Abner is not found guilty of burning the barn, but he is told to leave and to never come back. While out in the woods camping, Abner asks his son, “You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain’t going to have any blood to

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stick to you.” Sarty's belief in these two perspectives leads to his internal conflict throughout the entire short story; one choice commits acts of betrayal while the other leads to the participation in evil.

In a day the family arrived at their new...
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