Throughout the story Abner's negative influences adversely affect the development of Sarty's character. Sarty is very observant of his father and is highly inclined to defending, helping and obeying Abner. However, as Abner continuously compromises the wellbeing of the family, and as Sarty begins to compare him to his father, he begins to see the faults in Abner's rational and finally decides that he must take action and stop his father's train of destruction, and as a result betraying his father. At the beginning of "Barn Burning" it is already clear that Sarty gives complete support and allegiance to his family, especially his father. Sarty's loyalty is so strong that he feels that any man who is an enemy of his father is an enemy of his, too. "
his father and his father's enemy (our enemy he thought in that despair; ourn! Mine and hisn both! He's my father!)
"(Faulkner pg.159). His dedication to his family is evident, and the extent to which that dedication goes is tested in the court of law. "He aims for me to lie, he thought, against with that frantic grief and despair. And I will have to do hit."(Faulkner pg.159). Though it is clearly against Sarty's morals, he is willing to omit that portion of his conscience to help his father however he can. Outside of Sarty's heart and the courthouse, Sarty's must also defend his family in society. In an instant, Sarty is prepared to drop gauntlets and physically fight to defend his family's honor. "Barn burner!
Again he could not see, whirling; there was a face in a red haze
the other boy in full flight and himself already leaping into pursuit
" (Faulkner pg.160). However, due to Sarty's youthful physique, he is not able to contend well against the boy hazing his family. But regardless, his pride in his family is so fierce that Sarty is ready to face any foe despite his build and any potential physical repercussions. Sarty's strong will and dedication to his family is derived from his father. After supper, and...
Cited: Faulkner, William. "Barn Burning". Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Fourth compact Edition. Gioia, Dana and X.J. Kennedy. New York: Pearson Longman, 2005.
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