However, Sartoris has found a quieter, more subtle form of happiness. Although Sartoris eventually frees himself from his father and his oppressive family life, he does not immediately find the peace and dignity that he expected would await him.
To Sartoris, peace, joy, and dignity are the alluring promises of a different kind of life, one that seems very far away from life in the Snopes household. For the first time, Sartoris has glimpsed a peaceful future. This may be significant as it symbolically suggests that despite their constant moving from town to town neither Sarty nor his family are moving forward.
However, after Snopes once again plans to burn a barn, Sartoris understands that family loyalty comes at too great a cost and is too heavy a burden. He rejects family loyalty and instead betrays his father, warning de Spain that his barn is about to be burned.
They were loyal, but they still wind up alone. This threat suggests how isolated the family really is and how fully they rely on one another for protection, even when their faith in this protection is unfounded. This idea or theme of renewal is explored at the end of the story.
Perhaps the happiness he seeks does exist for him in the future, as he leaves his family and old life behind without looking back.
Taken from his Selected Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story it becomes clear to the reader that Faulkner is exploring the theme of loyalty and conflict.
There is a sense that Abner is reliant on fire to achieve power, without it his life is a continuous struggle. If anything there would appear to be a renewal within Sarty. Also later in the story, Abner, Sarty and his brother share some cheese outside another store which also acted as a courtroom.
The Search for Peace Surrounded by violence and conflict, Sartoris is constantly overwhelmed by fear, grief, and despair, and he knows that he must search for peace if he ever wants to be free from these tumultuous emotions.
Fire also acts as symbolism in the story and appears to represent power. Sartoris is enamored with the grounds and the imposing house, and the domestic bliss that seems to emanate from the estate gives Sartoris a temporary comfort. Sarty ends up getting into a fight with some other children, again it being clear to the reader that he is doing so to defend his father.
Only when Snopes is killed—presumably shot to death by de Spain at the end of the story—is the family free. Life under his father was lived in a heightened state of extreme fear, grief, and despair. Sartoris specifically refers to fear, grief, and despair throughout the story, revealing the depth of his struggle to find his place among the demands of his family and his own developing ideas of morality.- Barn Burning: Family vs.
Morality The theme of Faulkner's "Barn Burning" is Sarty Snopes's desire to break away from the oppressive conditions of his family life. He is pulled between his family and his morality. In this essay, I will discuss Sarty's struggle between the two sides of his conflict and the point at which it becomes resolved.
Young Sarty Snopes, the main character in William Faulkner's "Barn Burning," exemplifies qualities that show he is both like and unlike his mother and father.
Barn Burning essaysColonel Sartoris Snopes, who is called "Sarty" by his family, is a major character in William Faulkner's "Barn Burning." This young boy of about ten finds himself in the position of being expected to lie to protect his father from punishment for burning t.
In “Barn Burning,” Sartoris must decide whether loyalty to family or loyalty to the law is the moral imperative. For the Snopes family, particularly for Sartoris’s father, family loyalty is valued above all else. From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Barn Burning Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.
Find the quotes you need to support your essay, or refresh your memory of the story by reading these key quotes.
In Barn Burning by William Faulkner we have the theme of loyalty, conflict, power, control, authority, justice and renewal.
Taken from his Selected Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story it becomes clear to the reader that Faulkner is exploring the theme of loyalty and conflict.Download