Sarty In William Faulkner's Barn Burning

688 Words3 Pages
Often times in life one must choose between what is right and what they have been taught. This is shown in the life of Colonel Sartoris Snopes, otherwise known as Sarty. Sarty is the main character of “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner. Sarty is faced with the difficult decision of remaining with his father while he continues to do unacceptable things, or go out on his own and follow a better path. Two themes are found in Sarty’s life. One theme is conflict within oneself and the other is finding a balance between oneself and one's responsibility to society. The first theme in “Barn Burning” is internal conflict. Sarty is faced with a difficult situation when he is forced to either stay with his father or leave. He knows the things his father is doing are illegal and that he should stop. However, his father is a strong figure in his life and has always taught him that he does these bad things because people do bad things to him. He has to decide whether staying is worth the emotional distress knowing he could stop these situations. Towards the beginning of the story Sarty was more attached to his father, but it is after he hits him that he starts to draw away. His father, Abner, says “You’re getting to be a man. You got to learn. You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain’t going to have any blood to stick to you” (Faulkner 485). Abner is convincing Sarty that…show more content…
The majority of these themes focus around conflict, more specifically intrapersonal conflict. The story follows Sarty and his decision to leave his family in order to live a better life. Two of the major themes are Sarty and his conflict with himself, and him trying to balance his own demands with his responsibility to society. In the end, Sarty chooses his responsibility to society over his personal needs and his family. He decides to tell Mr. De Spain because he knows what his father is doing is not right and he must end
Open Document