The Role Of Sarty In William Faulkner's Barn Burning

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Product of Your Raisin’
In the short story “Barn Burning” the main character is in a constant struggle between family loyalty and what he is beginning to know is morally right and wrong. Even though the story takes place after the Civil War, the conflict that the young Sarty faces is still relevant today: answering the question of if a person can be more than who they were raised to be. William Faulkner writes about the struggles a young boy faces when battling the inherited characteristics of his “blood”, the influences of his upbringing, and the realization that the strongest role model in his life, namely his father, is not a good one.
In the beginning of the story, Sarty is immediately faced with choosing to tell the truth or a lie. It is apparent that the young boy is already questioning his father’s evil thoughts and actions, but is still deeply loyal to him. Faulkner goes into great detail of the smells of different foods that would be enticing to a starving young boy inside the store/courtroom where the father is being tried, but instead Sarty’s
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His father quickly ruins his ideas of a peaceful living at their new home by deliberately tracking horse manure onto the de Spain’s valuable rug and then permanently damaging it when he is ordered to clean it. Sarty is brought full circle to the beginning of the story when his father is brought to court because of his actions. Again his father seeks vengeance for something that is a consequence of his own destructive deed. He once more seeks the same sort of revenge against the Major. When Sarty fills the can of oil for his father it appears as though he has given into his “blood” and will continue his father’s legacy. However, Sarty goes against his family loyalty, and more importantly, his father’s immoral ways, by running to warn the Major of his father’s intent to burn down the

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