"Barn Burning" Family Loyalty And Betrayal

576 Words3 Pages
“Barn Burning” by William Faulkner, provides a good example of how the conflicting loyalties can affect many decisions one makes. In Faulkner`s story, Sarty is facing a dilemma. It seems that no matter where the family moves, due to Abners anger conflicts will never stop. On one hand, Sarty has the morals that society has put in him from his father. On the other hand, Sarty has loyalty to his father because of the blood shared with them and the fact that his father raised him. Ultimately it is these conflicts that will lead to Sarty`s final decision. In this short story, the conflicted relationship is between Sarty and his father. At the beginning of the story, while in the courtroom, the sight and smell of food that were surrounding Sarty reminded him of his empty stomach, which leads him to take in consideration some other concerns, like his sadness and the struggle he is going through to sustain his family loyalty. When Sarty and his father are leaving the courtroom, a young boy accuses Sarty of being a “Barn burner” (Faulkner, 264). Sarty confronts him so the boy punches him and bloodies his face. Sarty himself describes his inner conflict as “the being pulled two ways like between two teams of horses.” (Faulkner, 271). On one side is “the old fierce of pull of blood” which states the loyalty to family. On the other are truth and justice. The pull of family ties is strong, but soon Sarty realizes that what his father does is the wrong thing to do. Even though Sarty betrays his father at the end he but he realized that he must be put out the conflicts, and aim for a better furute, one that his father was not giving them. The biggest conflict is revealing the depth of his struggle to find his place among the demands of his father and his own developing ideas of morality for the first time. Sarty is overwhelmed by fear, grief to a better future, and
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