Importance Of Sarty In William Faulkner's Barn Burning

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“It would be dawn and then sun up after a while and he would be hungry” (Faulkner 161). Barn Burning is set in an imaginary Mississippi county, Yoknapatawpha, in which the Sartorises and the de Spains are privileged people living by a code of honor and the Snopes, most of them, are lazy and irresponsible (Faulkner). In the story Barn Burning, William Faulkner shows the coming of age story of Colonel Sartoris Snopes, also known as Sarty, and the importance of good judgement.
At the beginning of Barn Burning, Sarty is a child who is willing to sacrifice his morals for his family because he is so fearful of his father. When Sarty gets called forward by the Justice to testify, he thinks his father “aims for me to lie... and I will have to do
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Unfortunately, Sarty is in “the terrible handicap of being young, the light weight of his few years, just heavy enough to prevent his soaring free of the world… but not heavy enough to keep him footed solid in it “ (Faulkner 151). This shows that Sarty is beginning to understand how the real world works. He is constantly trapped in his father’s world, which disables him to be able to “soar free” and experience the world for himself (Faulkner 151). Ultimately, Sarty has no authority in determining his own life because his is limited by his family. The “weight” is not heavy enough to provide him with stability. The relationship between Sarty and his father is similar to the relationship between a young boy and his robot. The boy is constantly controlling the robot’s every move by pressing buttons on the controller to tell it where to go, what to do, and how to do it. Likewise, Abner is “pressing the button” of family blood on Sarty to control his actions, thoughts, and feelings. Once Sarty was aware that his father and brother were on the way to burn de Spain’s barn, he sprinted into de Spain’s mansion and yelled, “Barn!” (Faulkner 160). In this situation, all Sarty knows is to shout “barn” to let de Spain know that Abner is going to burn the barn. This moment is where he chooses to betray his father and family and take control of his own life. Even though he feels guilty about being disloyal to his father, Sarty finally realizes that he is doing to right thing. Sarty’s realization of his instinct of justice enables him to dictate his own

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