barn burning

Topics: William Faulkner, Barn Burning Pages: 3 (1033 words) Published: March 24, 2014
English 1302
Professor Lunsford
25 February, 2014
Independence Coming of Age
A child’s mind is easy to control and change their thought process due to them being confused in situations they don’t know much about. In “Barn Burning” William Faulkner focuses on the morals of society versus the morals of sticking with family through the eyes of a ten year old boy, Sartoris Snopes, and the situations he has faced because of his father’s acts of burning down peoples barns.

Sartoris Snopes is the ten year old son of Abner Snopes who is a man of his own law and doesn’t follow society’s rules as he repeatedly claims “you got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain’t going to have any blood to stick to you” (Mays, 191). Abner teaches Sartoris that no one in this world will help another person but family always sticks together and if he doesn’t protect family, Sartoris will be left alone. In the first scene of the story, Faulkner shows Sartoris’s loyalty to his family that he is willing to lie for his father in the Justice of the Peace’s court despite Sartoris secretly not wanting to. “He aims for me to lie…with that frantic grief and despair. And I will have to do hit”. Sartoris is caught in between telling the truth of his father’s wrongful doings of burning down a landlord’s barn and lying to defend his family for they are all he has (Mays, 189). When the Snope’s new landlord, Major de Spain, confronts Abner that he has ruined the rug and not cleaned it properly, he demands twenty bushels of corn from his next harvest. After de Spain leaves, Sartoris approaches his father and says that Major de Spain is the one at fault for not telling his father how to properly clean the rug and that he shouldn’t receive any amount of corn bushels from their harvest. Sartoris shows his loyalty to Abner again during a court hearing about de Spain’s rug. Before the case was even announced, Sartoris says that Abner didn’t burn anything despite the hearing to be unrelated...

Bibliography: Web. 27 Feb. 2014.
Zender, Karl F. "Character and Symbol in 'Barn Burning '." College Literature 16.1 (1989):
48-59. Rpt. in Literature Resource Center. Detroit: Gale, 2014. Literature Resource Center. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.
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