Juxtaposition In Barn Burning

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Mario Puzo, an American author, screenwriter, and journalist, once said, “The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other.” In the short story “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner, the juxtaposition in Sarty’s split loyalty between his father and doing what is morally correct outside of his family shows how he feels an urge to identify with his family and their “bloodline,” but also have a moral compass, which conveys how the high standards of loyalty placed on families or groups influence people’s moral compass and sense of right and wrong. Barn Burning takes place in an unknown location, most likely the southern United States and is about a young boy named Sarty and his experience in dealing with his …show more content…

When Abner was being tried for barn burning the first time, Sarty viewed the Justice of the Peace as an enemy, because he was confronting Abner, thinking “Our enemy… Our! Mine and his both! He's my father!” (148). This shows how, even in the face of a higher authority, such as a Justice of the Peace, Sarty sides with Abner. When Abner hits Sarty after they are outlawed in the country, Sarty stays stoic, even when his mother offers to clean the wound and the blood off his face, he refuses. This implies that Sarty doesn’t want admit weakness to anyone, and won’t show his emotions to his family, to be brave and loyal to Abner. Sarty stays loyal due to the “the old fierce pull of blood” (148). The blood represents his family’s expectations such as faithfulness, loyalty, bravery, and protecting the family, while the pull represents the pressure to perform put upon …show more content…

This happened with Sarty, staying loyal to his family and Abner. Sarty never spoke up against Abner, he barely spoke at all to Abner. The “the old blood which he had not been permitted to choose for himself” (164) clouded his mind and moral compass with standards of loyalty unwillingly placed upon him. The standards of staying loyal to someone, or a group of people can come with a lot of pressure to stay true to them and their values. You could lose your own in the process. Stay true to yourself, be an independent leader, not a subjective follower. If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump

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