Burning Barns

Topics: William Faulkner, Barn Burning, Boy Pages: 2 (858 words) Published: April 22, 2008
In the short story Barn Burning by William Faulkner the main character is Colonel Sartoris Snopes, or other wise known as Sarty. Sarty starts as a flat character and grows to be a round character. He is a young ten year old boy living with his family in the South after the Civil War. Though he has little to no book-knowledge that he shows in the story, he has the knowledge of right and wrong.

In the beginning of this short story Sarty is put on the witness stand to testify against his father on charges of burning a barn. At this point in the story, you do not know if he is going to tell the truth about his father or protect him. Sarty is not given the chance to lie and keep his father from being convicted of the crime for which he is accused. Therefore, we are not truly able to see what kind of character he really has. Sarty shows his loyalty to his father by confronting an older by who called his father a 'barn burner'. He knows the boy is right for calling is father a 'barn burner', but he still stands up for him. At this point I would consider Sarty as a flat character because he does whatever his father tells him to and doesn't think for himself.

When they arrive at their new home, Sarty's father, Abner, confronts him of his intentions to tell he truth on the stand. Abner suspected Sarty was going to tell the court the truth about the barn burning and reminds him “you got to stick to your blood or you ain't going to have any blood stick to you.” Sarty knew the ethical thing to do would have been to tell the truth, but that would have caused a beating from his father. Sarty shows more rounded character traits at this point by struggling with the challenge between doing right and wrong. He wants to be a honest person, but at his age doesn't want his family to turn away from him.

Sarty shows his weaknesses are his age and fear of his father. At the young age of ten, not to many boys would go against their father. Boys his age want...
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