Barn Burning


Barn Burning EssayThe Dynamics Of Sarty Essay, Research Paper

In the story Barn Burning by William Faulkner, the character Colonel Sartoris Snopes, nicknamed Sarty, displays many different and interesting traits. Most of these characteristics are seen through his thoughts that the author includes periodically throughout the story. The thoughts in the reading lead you to the conclusion that Sarty is definitely a character who is very dynamic and self motivated. In the beginning of the story in the courtroom scene, the reader is first introduced to the idea that Sarty is very proud of and in awe of his father. This is shown when Sarty is thinking about his father?s enemy being his as well, ?ourn! mine and hisn both! He?s my father!?(N590). These statements are very relative and sharp with the meaning; Sarty respects his father and is especially proud to be his son, and he will help defend him however necessary. This includes lying to a judge in a court of law as seen in the next thought of Sarty, ?He aims for me to lie…And I will have to do hit.?(N591) Sarty is willing to put his own honesty on the line to help his father Abner. Although, right after the trial is over, Sarty begins to question his father and his thoughtless actions. When the family is on the wagon leaving the town that they had been banished from, Sarty begins to see that perhaps his father is not so perfect and just. As the family arrives at the doors to their next home, Sarty admires the owner?s impressive living area. Jus the sight of such a huge and wonderful place makes him think that it is ?impervious to the puny flames he might contrive…?(N594). Sarty is very hopeful about their new situation and hopes his father is the same way, ?Maybe he will feel it too. Maybe it will even change him now from what maybe he couldn?t help but be?(N594). Now, rather than feeling proud of his father for what he is, Sarty shows that he wants Abner to change; from the wording it can even be thought that Sarty somewhat feels pity towards his father for not being able to control himself. Aside from all the feelings Sarty has towards his father and the wrong-doings, Sarty still follows his orders. This is shown when Sarty is getting the oil for his father, but Sarty does question what he is doing. He thinks to himself as he is running to the stable, ?I could keep on…I could run on and on and never look back, never need to 6see his face again. Only I can?t. I can?t?(N600). That was the turning point for Sarty, and the final time he shows any respect for his father and his actions. It was also the first time he considers running from his father. The very last scene of the story is where it is most obvious that Sarty is a dynamic character. After he gets away from his mother, he runs to warn the Major de Spain of the disaster which is about to occur, in doing so, disobeying his father?s will, showing no respect, and rejecting the inexcusable act of torching another barn. This is when he begins to run. Only when two shots are heard in the distance, Sarty stops to cry for his hopeless father. After this disaster he begins on his way for a better, new life, without having to fear his father and his addiction to Barn Burning. All these thoughts suggest a change within Sarty. They prove that he is a very dynamic character, who at first loved and defended his father, but later turned against him and his madness.

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