The Barn Burning is a short story written by William Faulkner in the fall of 1938. It was first published in 1939 in Harper’s Magazine. Faulkner had originally planned to use it as the opening chapter of The Hamlet, where a slightly different version of the story appears (Fargnoli and Golay. pp 14). The short story was made into a film as part of The American Short Story Collection, starring Tommy Lee Jones as Abner Snopes, Shawn Whittington as Sartie Snopes, and Jimmy Faulkner, William Faulkner’s nephew, as Major De Spain (Padgett). Although, the short story and the movie are similar in many ways, there are several differents between the two involving Sarty, Albner, and the events that take place.
Colonel Satoris Snopes, Sarty for short, is one of the central figures in Barn Burning. In the short story version, Sarty is a ten-year-old boy (Magill pp 158). In the movie Sarty, played by Shawn Whittington, is portrayed as an older boy of about fourteen years. In both the short story and the movie, Sarty is caught in a dilemma between his own sense of honor, and loyalty to his father (Bloom pp. 65). In the opening scene Sarty is called to testify during the hearing against his father, he is about to confess what his father did when the judge dismisses him. But when he goes outside and hears some boys calling his father a barnburner, he immediately comes to his father’s defense. He gets into a fight to defend his and his father’s name. Sarty describes his inner conflict as being pulled two ways “ like between two teams of horses.” On one side is “the old fierce pull of blood”, family loyalty. On the other are truth and justice. The pull of family ties is strong, but Sarty has started to realize that what his father does is wrong (Magill. Pp.159).
Abner Snopes is a cold, hard man, who is rebellious and irrational . Abner displays this behavior in the incident with the rug. He tracks horse manure in on Mrs. De Spain’s rug; at this point Mrs. De Spain...