Internal Conflict in Barn Burning by William Faulkner Essay

The plants “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner and “The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck at first glimpse may look to hold no connexion. but in malice of different secret plan they focus on similar thoughts. The narrative “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner discusses the interior struggle within Sartoris Snopes. a immature male child who faced a quandary. He tries to do a determination of taking between to lieing in the tribunal under his father’s pressiure who does non desire to acquire into the gaol and moving against his male parent by stating the truth.

The chief character is influenced by Abner. his male parent. who tells him. “You got to larn to lodge to your ain blood or you ain’t traveling to hold any blood to lodge to you. ”

I think this quotation mark reflects the chief issue of the narrative. which is about blood ties. And we clearly see how Sarty is affected by these blood ties. Faulkner depicts the interior struggle and quandary that the chief character faces.

We start to understand the moral quandary of the chief character from the beginning of the narrative. I think Faulkner make us believe about the inquiry: at what point should a individual make a pick between what his parents and or household believes and his ain values? The state of affairs in which Sarty’s struggle is developeded is a test. In this test Sarty is asked. ” I reckon any male child named for Colonel Sartoris in this state can’t aid but state the truth.

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can they? ”The immature male child. Sarty. someplace deep in his bosom has a feeling that he wants to move in a right manner. but as he is oly 10 old ages old. I think it is difficult for him to do steadfast determinations.

His feelings and ideas are influnced by his male parent. who pressures him. seeking to forestall himself from penalty in the tribunal. We besides understand that Abner makes his son battle with himself by the manner Sarty describes him. Abner does non talk much. We see this in the manner he communicates with his household and other characters. He is a individual with so much pride that he is ready to make anything to avenge those who do something incorrect to him or seek to have him. even if he has to interrupt the jurisprudence. The pick that a immature male child has to do bases between his household and scruples.

When Sarty Snopes considers that he has to do a determination of taking between blood. which is his responsibility to his household. and his ain morality. Sarty’s male parent stesses the value of trueness to the household. He states. thatif he does non lodge to hi blood. he will non hold any blood to lodge to. Sarty tries to do himself believe this and even starts a battle with a male child for dissing his male parent. At first Sarty wants to be a moral individual. He is really really disquieted that he has to lie talking to the justice. but he is still traveling to make that. cognizing his male parent wants him to make so. As Sarty respected Abner for his values. he thought he could endorse up him. The male child believed his male parent was a courageous adult male in the war. and that he wanted to direct a warning beforehand with a slave so that no 1 was hurt.

The conflict between listening to his ain bosom and make up one’s minding to follow his household is the hardest battle of Sarty’s life. He understands that it is non right to hold with his father’s suggestions. but he is non interested in disreputing his male parent by differing with him. The writer explains that if he was older he would “resist the universe and seek to alter the class of its events” Sarty learns that he does non necessaruly need majority in irder to decline Abner ; at foremost he defends his male parent. but eventually his decided to listen to his bosom. which wants to assist those who were harmed by obstinate and dogmatic Abner.

Sarty warns the people in the large white house and goes down the route. Soon Sarty hears a a few shootings. and he thinks that his male parent and brother are caught by the landlord and are shot by him. Regardless of what indeeed happened. he understands he can ne’er return. The male child merely continues to walk. and he does non look back. At this minute Sarty’s blood ties are broken. and he gets rid of the fright of his father’s wrath. The chief character is free now. But his freedom requires paying some monetary value. I think that the male child still feels some sort of blood tie. described by the writer. and he made this pick with a batch of feelings on both sides of the issue.

Sarty still cares for his household in some sense. he still feels love towards his male parent. even though he understands that what his father’s workss are incorrect and he truly had to halt them and discontinue to be a portion of them. The fact that the male child is non able to come back place is non a inquiry of his pick. I think he merely canont travel back. So. Sarty’s bosom still suffers from some struggle that is non truly resolved. even though the state of affairs has truly changed. As I have already discussed. at the beginning of the narrative Sarty feels a strong commitment to his male parent. nevertheless. eventually we learn that his positions change radically.

The point of apogee is at the terminal of the narrative when Sarty has warned Major de Spain of Abner’s purposes to fire the barn. I think that the chief character experiences the explosion of emotions. running down de Spain’s thrust and hearing Major’s Equus caballus galloping behind him. The declaration to the struggle comes when Abner and his senior boy are shot. But the existent solution happens at dark after Abner’s decease. when Sarty is sitting upon the crest of a hill believing about his actions and future life.

Faulkner proves us that it is impossible to sruggle with one’s ain bosom. The minute when Sarty decided to take morality over the blood pool and warned the de Spain’s revealed his true character. Though this meant the decease of his male parent. Sarty didn’t sorrow of warning de Spain. Alternatively. it looked like the male child was seeking to subsitute his memories of his male parent by some honest. good individual. who had strong strong beliefs.

In his narrative “The Chrysanthemums” John Steinbeck besides reveales the struggle of a human bosom. which is connected with women’s unrealized demands and desires. The writer stresses that as human beings we have to appreciate each other. otherwise finally we will do our lives dark and tragic. The chief character. Elisa Allen. is defeated with her present life. She is plagued with no kids and her hubby is non able admire her romantically as a adult female. The lone thing that helps her to quiet down is her flower garden where beautiful chrysanthemums grow. Steinbeck shows Elisa’s ideas nad feelings about her inner ego by picturing those chrysanthemums.

The narrative presents the thought that grasp by the people who we love is an component of human being. When Elisa was acknowledged by her hubby. said. “maybe I could make it. excessively. I’ve a gift with things. all right. My female parent had it. She could lodge anything in the land and do it grow” ( P 1261 ) . At this minute the adult female feels her husband’s grasp for noticing on her fantastic flowers.

This thought of acknowledgment is shown by John Steinbeck to show the demand for a felling of credence. Feeling a strong demand for credence. Elisa turns to a alien and makes efforts to be appreciated. While Elisa negotiations to this alien. their conversation connects to the kingdom of Elisa’s flowers. “Elisa’s eyes grew watchful and eager. ‘She couldn’t have known much about chrysanthemums. You can raise them from a seed’”. This depicts Elisa’s felicity and passion. as she has an chance to be appreciated through her flowers once more. By undestanding the value of Elisa’s flowers. the alien truly accepts the adult female. as her flowers are in some sense the look of herself.

They are everything Elisa possesses. being sometimes valued by her hubby and besides being valued by the alien. “… her eyes shone. She tore off the battered chapeau and shook out her dark pretty hair” ( P 1264 ) . In this quotation mark we see that Elisa opens her bosom up to the alien. She “tore off” the chapeau to liberate herself from the work which was non appreciated. and revealed her existent beauty to the alien. By moving so. Elisa is prepared herself to acquire the gratitude from the alien. the gratitude that she did non have frequently from her hubby. .

After the tinker departs. Elisa is looking frontward to her eventide with her hubby. She hopes Henry will acknowledge her demands as a adult female and supply her with the love affair and passion which she desires. But this hope is rapidly broken. The best best compliment on her visual aspect that Henry makes after she has changed is. “You look strong plenty to interrupt a calf over your articulatio genus. happy plenty to eat it like a watermelon” ( P 393 ) . This uncomplimentary remark on her visual aspect does non make much for Elisa’s self-importance as a adult female nor toward her feelings toward her hubby. Elisa’s hope is eventually destroyed. as she finds the flowers on the route.

The adult female feels that her psyche is wholly emptied by the tinker’s thoughtless rejection of her feelings. Merely like her hubby. he has failed to value the qualities that make her unique as a adult female. This symbolic act has vanished her hope. Elisa realizes that her life will non alter. Henry will non to the full appreciate or understand her muliebrity and gender. She has to l earn to be content with such unreflective hubby and her atrocious matrimony. She realizes that her desolation is truly complete and leaves her “crying weakly-like an old woman”.

The chrysanthemums stand for the symbol of Elisa’s function as a adult female. At the get downing they symbolize her kids. subsequently they represent her muliebrity and gender. Elisa feels that her life destroyed her psyche because she lacked kids and love affair in her matrimony with Henry. Finally. her hubby fails to appreciate her feminine qualities and her emotional demands. The brush with the tinker reawakens her gender and Elisa starts to trust that she still has a opportunity for a more exciting and romantic matrimony. However. seeing the flowers on the route she realizes that there will non be any alterations in her life. Finally. her psyche is devastated by such a suffering and uhhappy life.

I think that in contrast to the interior struggle. which Faulkner’s Sarty experienced at the beginning of the strory and resolved at the terminal. Steinbeck’s Elisa faced different state of affairs. She had some hopes that her life will travel in the desirable manner. but all her outlooks failed. In my sentiment. in malice of the struggles which different natures. both writers proved in their plants that if human bosom comes into the struggle with itself. it brings enduring. But I think that it is deserving to endure like Sarty for the interest of deciding the struggle ; nevertheless. life turns into the calamity. when the struggle. like in Elisa’s instance. is the concluding of a person’s dreams and outlooks.


  1.  Faulkner. William. Barn Burning. Bedford Introduction to Literature. Boston ; Bedford/St.
  2. Martin’s. 2002.
  3.  Billingslea. O. Fathers and Sons: The Spiritual Quest in Faulkner’s ‘Barn
    Burning. Mississippi Quarterly: The Journal of Southern Culture 44. 3 ( Summer 1991 ) .
  4. Fowler. Virginia C. Faulkner’s ‘Barn Burning’ : Sarty’s Conflict Reconsidered. College Language Association Journal 24. 4 ( June 1981 ) .
  5.  Steinbeck. John. The Chrysanthemums. Fiction: A Longman Pocket Anthology. Ed. R. S. Gwynn. Second Ed. New York: Longman. 1998.
  6. Beach. J. John Steinbeck’s Authentic Characters. Readings on John Steinbeck. Ed. Swisher. Clarice. San Diego: Greenhaven. 1996.

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Internal Conflict in Barn Burning by William Faulkner Essay. (2017, Oct 16). Retrieved from

Internal Conflict in Barn Burning by William Faulkner Essay
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