In this article, we are supposed to review the story ?Barn Burning? by William Faulkner. The story is a very basic rendering of self-discovery, followed with self-acceptance. Published in the year 1938, it tells how a father?s sense of respect, morals and responsibility affects his youngest vulnerable son.
The story revolves around the feelings and experiences of a young boy, Sarty, who is on the verge of loneliness and alienation, due to his father?s reckless criminal actions. At this point of time, he starts getting more socially and ethically aware of what is right and what is wrong, and comes to a point where he needs to decide whether he should follow his father?s ways and stick to the family, or abandon them to find his own beliefs and values in his life.
The story starts with a trial scene where the young protagonist, Sarty, is asked to testify against his own father, Abner who has a weird inclination to burning down others? properties. In the first scene, the boy did not say anything against his father but secretly wished that he would stop his immoral ways of actions. The story shows that he was growing up and he was feeling the pangs of guilt due to his father?s actions. But still, he wanted to stick to his family.
But in the end, it so happened that his father again attempted to do the same thing, and he did not wish to forewarn the Major de Spain this time with any messenger. This explicit resort to violence had a strong effect on the boy?s psychology, which he could take no more and objected it. His father asked his mother to hold him while he does it. But he fled and went straight to the Major de Spain to warn him and while returning, out of despair, remorse and emotional attachment, he tried to warn his father about the police constables waiting out there too. At last, being affected by the brave yet heinous actions of his father, he was forced to leave his family to live a life on his own moral terms.
Set in a post Civil War period, the vibe of the story is marked with power, violence and moral sense. It is shown that one action can lead to another, and ultimately strongly affect the psychology of the humankind. For instance, while Abner is looking for power over everyone, including his family, even Sarty strives to find his own power. Woven in a intriguing manner, this interesting tale is a treat for every reader.