Going back to the quote at the beginning, loyalty is a key part of this story. It is Sarty’s undying loyalty to his terrible father that drives the story forward. The first scene we come to where Sarty displays loyalty to his father is when Abner is on trial for the crime of burning down a black man’s barn. The court decides they want Sarty to testify. Sarty decides that he must defend his father because loyalty to family is very important
But, in this case Sarty have to decide if being loyal to his family or loyal to the law is more important. As we may all know that a father and son relationship is supposed to have the tightest bond that consist of LOYALTY? In “Barn Burning” Sarty is broken between his loyalty to his family and an inner more sense of justice. At the beginning of the story it starts off with loyalty.
The novel displays Steve’s father’s perception regarding his son’s presence in jail. Steve Harmon ends up in jail for suspected murder, leaving his innocence to be questioned by those closest to him. Steve’s father finds it difficult to believe that Steve is innocent. Steve’s father experiences “tears in his eyes” and “struggles with his emotions” just after Steve asks if his father believes that Steve is truly innocent (Myers 111).
Faulkner dives deeper into the pressure that Sartoris faced to remain loyal to his father when the family camped for the final night before they expected to arrive at the new home the father had found for them. After dinner, Sarty is called by his father onto the road where his father proceeds to accuse the boy of planning to tell the Justice of the Peace the truth, that his father was the one who burnt the barn down, even though Sartoris had silently made up his mind and was planning on defending him. His father then struck him in the face and with it came the words, "you got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain 't going to have any blood to stick to you" (par. 28). This line plays a vital role in the creation of the theme, inner conflict, as it further explains the situation that the young boy was in. The father was telling his young son that he needed to be for the family and protect it by defending the lies his father tells or do what Sarty 's heart was telling him to do and cost himself his family, and the people he loved.
He explains before how he was close to his stepfather and even considered him to be his real father. Not only did he refrain from keeping his grades up and doing good in school, but he deliberately started doing wrong. For example, “I snatched purses. I shoplifted. I even robbed a petty drug dealer once.”
In Tobias Wolff’s short story “The Liar,” the protagonist, James, lies to help him construct a new identity outside of his family. James tells morbid lies about his mother in order to distance himself from her. Since, the loss of his father, James no longer associates with people who are like him. The lies started after his father’s death and his mother starts noticing how much differently he was acting. Since his mother is treating him like she is disappointed in him, James begins to devolve into a state of repressed bitterness.
When it comes to his dad, he is willing to do what he can for the safety of his child. In one instance, he shot a man right in front of The Boy, because that man was trying to hurt him. The boy, however, did not understand why his dad had done this. To him, he saw that killing people was wrong, no matter the situation or excuse. He was not able to think like his dad, because he was too young, and did not have the same perspective as him.
The character feels an almost bittersweet sensation here due to his father not being there for him in times when he needs him. It is a tragedy that even though he is relieved that his health is in satisfactory condition, his father is not because of his own choices of an unsatisfactory
His idiosyncrasy remains loving and understanding, even when his younger son returned home after many of been away with not a penny to his name. The young son showed disobedience to all the goodness his father had offered to him. The young son showed traits such as selfishness as well as being ungrateful. He had no worth for his father’s property nor did he want to work alongside his father on the family farm.