The father is not found guilty as there is no proof. The boy tries to rationalize his father's actions by saying to himself that he probably has a small fire because he had to during the war. He had been a soldier who was brave and had served his land. When the child is called to speak his father refuses it. However, this is set against the reality of the truth about the father. The story The Barn Burning has a theme of good versus evil and innocence versus guilt. His father has no respect and a strong sense of anger for the people he works for. Barn burning theme statement.
The cost is fair to the father but not to the rug's owner. The rug which Abner soils is also significant as it symbolises prosperity, other peoples (de Spain’s). It is also possible that the rug symbolises de Spain’s authority over Abner and that Abner is subservient to de Spain. This sound which Faulkner describes as ‘unceasing’ in many ways mirrors the renewed spirit of Sarty. This idea or theme of renewal is explored at the end of the story. He is not concerned about his family's comfort. The boy keeps telling himself that the other man is his enemy just like he is his. He walks in and gets dirt all over the rug. As he walks along the road he can hear the ‘liquid silver voices of the birds’ singing.
Sarty fighting the other children is also important for another reason as it highlights further the conflict (external) that Sarty encounters due to his father’s actions. There is other symbolism in the story which is also worth noting. The boy and his father go to the property owner's home. His father takes the rug and returns it. 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. At the beginning of the story Sarty thinks he can smell cheese which causes him to feel fear, despair and grief. This may suggest again that Abner wants his family to show some unity against the judicial system. SparkNotes is brought to you by. By doing the right thing, and telling de Spain that Abner was planning on burning down the barn, Sarty has started the journey from boyhood to manhood and the reader is left aware that Sarty will make the journey alone, without his father’s influence.
The story begins with the boy sitting before the Justice of the Peace. . 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. Though the reader doesn’t know if Sarty’s father has been killed by de Spain (it is assumed he has), what is certain is that by running away Sarty is no longer under the control of his father. The family goes to the next place of employment. He is miserly. The owner vows to have the funds taken from the father's crops and changes him for the crime. If anything there would appear to be a renewal within Sarty. If anything they are stuck or trapped in the same cycle.
Sarty is aware that his father is expecting him to lie about what happened Harris barn, which in turn causes a conflict within Sarty, as he wants to do the right thing (family unity versus justice). Faulkner continues to explore the theme of loyalty after Sarty and his father leave the store. The sisters struggle to clean it. The boy keeps telling himself that the other man is his enemy just like he is his father's enemy. It is also interesting that Faulkner, as Sarty is getting into the wagon, mentions the mother’s clock, which is stuck at fourteen minutes past two. When Sarty discovers that his father plans on burning de Spain’s barn he wants to warn de Spain. This is significant as it suggests that Sarty wants to do the right thing (morally and legally), rather than show a continued, if not blind loyalty to his father. The servant brings the rug to the family of the boy for it to be cleaned. It may also be significant that Faulkner describes Sarty as seeing ‘the lighted house’ and ‘the lighted door, ’ as he is running to warn de Spain This may suggest that no longer is Sarty living his life in darkness, by being blindly loyal to his father.
The father is lifted up as a positive mental picture by his exploits in the Confederacy. The rug has been burned. It may also be significant that Faulkner mentions that it is spring, as symbolically spring would be associated with a time of renewal. He demonstrates this by having them use a small fire instead of one in a size that could keep them warm. Cheese appears to be used in the story to suggest family unity against the judicial system. Sitting before the Justice of the Peace he is convicted of his crime and told he ahs to pay for part of the damage to the rug. Also later in the story, Abner, Sarty and his brother share some cheese outside another store (which also acted as a courtroom). By soiling the rug Abner may be attacking what he believes to be unjust (other people’s authority). The reader learns that it cost $655, a sum of money that Abner has no hope of ever earning and by soiling it Abner is in some ways attacking the financial security of Major de Spain.
As the story progresses the reader learns that the family has moved often for one reason or another. His father is being questioned and accused of having burned a man's barn in retaliation for the man having held the man's hog when it repeatedly had escaped his father's pen. There is also a shift in Sarty’s loyalty to his father near the end of the story. Visit B N to buy and rent, and check out our award-winning tablets and ereaders, including and.