Loyalty In William Faulkner's Barn Burning

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In “Barn Burning,” William Faulkner depicts a young boy’s journey from adolescence to manhood. Ten years old, Colonel Sartoris(Sarty) Snopes struggles both internally and externally in pleasing his father and his own soul. Faulkner uses Sarty as an emblem of purity shaped easily for better or for worse. Presented with perplexing decisions, Sarty makes solutions that yield metamorphic outcomes. In Sarty’s journey he deciphers between the desire to stay loyal, instinct to seek justice, and search to synthesize adulthood.
In being an adequate member of the Snope family, Sarty must exemplify an extraordinary amount of loyalty. Sarty believes that his father's judge “‘[is] our enemy . . . mine and hisn both’” confirming that the father and son duo are in it together (257). Furthermore,“leaping into pursuit,” Sarty fights off a neighsayer in defense of his father's name (259). Sarty clearly has an unavoidable desire to stay loyal to his father. Despite Sarty repeated actions of loyalty, his father sees it fit to reiterate that “‘You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain't going to have any blood to stick to you’” (260). Being very impressionable, Sarty furthers his trust in his father. After the trial of the rug ruining, Sarty denies his father's
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Given his situation, Sarty forcefully matures much earlier than expected. Exemplifying an independent and resilient outer shell, Sarty brushes off a blow, “‘[h]it don't hurt . . .’” from an adversary attempting to soil his family name (259). Sarty shows more maturity than his father, seeing and feeling emotions “. . . a surge of peace and joy . . . “, that his father is blind to (261). It was in this enlightening state of mind that Sarty sees the ignorance in “ . . . the puny flames he[father] might contrive.” (262). Sacrificing his family for the greater good, Sarty steps up and stops his father in the final act, and “he did not look back”
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