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In many works or literature, a child plays an all-important part. The child’s point of view can be conveyed in such a way that the work will be more effective. In the short story Barn Burning by William Faulkner, Sarty Snopes is the son who is in conflict with his father’s opinions. Sarty s views on this conflict become evident as the work progresses. The effectiveness of Sarty s point of view is shown during his conflict with his father, and his internal conflict between staying loyal to his family and doing the moral thing.

The views of Sarty are clearly shown throughout the story as the opposite of his father’s. “The nights were still cool and they had a fire against it, a small fire, neat, niggard almost, a shrewd fire; such fires were his father’s habit and custom always, even in freezing weather.” The fire mentioned in the quote is symbolic of Abner s character. Abner is characterized as a cold, hard, copulating, contemptuous, and arrogant man. Later on in the story Sarty had arrived at a 2courthouse and a feeling of peace came over him. The 2courthouse symbolizes Sarty’s character and it represented justice and truth, and ironically the courthouse was the place where the trouble started for Abner. Sarty could not display these characteristics because it would hurt his relationship with his father. Sarty thought, 2″Maybe he will feel it too. Maybe it will even change him now from what maybe he couldn’t help but be.” In this quote, Sarty hopes that the sight of the courthouse will help Abner change; because he knows he cannot do it himself. The moral backbone of Sarty is present, but the inability to display it is what causes the conflict.

The internal conflict of the story is morality versus loyalty. Sarty cannot decide whether he should stay loyal to his father or do the right thing. As the story reaches the resolution, Sarty is faced with the problem of helping his father burn down the barn. Sarty is a moral character but he does not want to display that morality because he does not want to hurt his relationship with his father. Sarty said, “I could run on and never look back, never need to see his face again. Only I can’t. I can’t.” It can easily be seen that Sarty is torn because of this. He really wants to leave and let his moral character shine, but his allegiance to family is overcoming him.

Through Sarty’s limited omniscient point of view it can easily be seen that his father is definitely the one to blame for all these happenings. Sarty wants to do the moral thing, but his strong relationship with his father prevents him from that. As the story progresses we see that the moral side of Sarty had come through. Through Sarty’s point of view the reader sees Abner as a malicious man that should have no support. The colloquial diction of the story gives the reader a chance to relate to Sarty and his position. At the end of the story, Sarty s limited point of view does not allow us to witness what happens to Abner. It can be inferred that, since Sarty did not accompany his father when he went to burn the barn, then morality prevailed, and loyalty was defeated.

Sarty Snopes was torn between allegiance to his father and allegiance to morality. It can be easily seen that Sarty is morality and Abner is loyalty. If Sarty were to become loyal, then he would not be true to himself, but if he stayed with the moral way then he would be true to himself. Sarty’s point of view had shown that morality would have prevailed, and the conflict would have been resolved.


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