Barn Burning Sarty Theme

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“Barn Burning” is a short story about how a young boy named Sarty turns his back on his family. His father, Abner Snopes, is a not a reputable man. He has burned at least one barn to the knowledge of the reader, perhaps more, and they have been moving all over the place in search of work on different farms along with the rest of their family. Throughout the story, Sarty is starting to realize that all of these shenanigans his father is involved in are wrong, but he is torn because he does not know what to do. Snopes knows that Sarty is starting to break away from his ideas, but it does not scare Sarty. In William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning,” it is important that one must do what they think is right no matter what the sacrifices are even if it means sacrificing family and everything one ever knew along the way.
Sarty has many thoughts that contribute to the theme of the story and the hopes of getting his father to stop his absurd methods. At one point in the story he thinks as he and his father approach their new landlord’s house, “Hit’s big as a courthouse… They are safe from him. People whose lives are a part of this peace and dignity are beyond his touch…” (Faulkner). Sarty hopes that maybe this move will be the move that ends
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He is the reason that Sarty has to act to do what is deemed right in this story. If it were not for fire, he would not be burning these barns. “For Abner, fire has almost mystical powers” (Loges). He uses it to get back at all of the rich people throughout his life because he is at a sort or war against these people. Towards the end of the story, he loses his lawsuit with Major de Spain, the landowner, and he is “still in the hat and coat, at once formal and burlesque as though dressed carefully for some shabby and ceremonial violence” (Faulkner). This use is ironic, but it gives the story that climatically intense point to where Sarty must make his decision toward the right thing to
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