Preview
Preview

Growth in William Faulkner’s Barn Burning and James Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues

:: 2 Works Cited
Length: 1819 words (5.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Growth in William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning” and James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues”


The word family evokes an image of trust and a bond of loyalty. In William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning” and James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues”, the main characters in both these stories demonstrate the idea of family loyalty in several ways. While they continue to express the values of family loyalty, the main characters have to overcome several obstacles. Searching for ways to communicate effectively with their families and maintaining their changing identities trap the characters. In “Barn Burning”, Sarty is conflicted with being loyal to his family and being loyal to himself and in “Sonny’s Blues”, the brother has to deal with being loyal to Sonny’s values. During this process, it changes their character and forces them to change and learn about themselves.

In “Barn Burning”, Sarty is emotionally torn by two personalities, one being loyal to his Father, and the other is being loyal to society because in his mind, he knows he’s doing the right thing. But in the beginning of the story, Sarty’s personality starts to pull when the Justice of the Peace is questioning him. Sarty has the need to tell the truth yet with his Father’s dominating presence there, he cannot do it. “He aims for me to lie, he thought again with that frantic grief and despair,” (p.398). In one sentence, there is an instant clear meaning that Sarty is distraught in making decisions having to involve his Father. In this moment though, he also feels his Father’s emotions penetrating right into his body through his Father, “did not even look at him” (p.398). Sarty’s sense of loyalty sides strongly with family due to the fact of how he was raised. The time period in which the stor...


... middle of paper ...


...nally figured out what Sonny’s dream was when he saw him play his music and the joy that Sonny felt, he felt it too and understood music is Sonny’s way of living, his life unleashed through music. Even though both stories tell a different tale, this quote applies to the brother and Sarty because they both had to rely on their self-intuition to help them understand the ordeals they went through to reach a final decision. “Freedom lurked around us and I understood, at last, that he could help us to be free if we would listen…” (P.216)

Works Cited

Baldwin, James. "Sonny's Blues." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction Poetry, and Drama. 7th edition. Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York: Longman, 1999. 272-295.

Faulkner, William. "Barn Burning." The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter. 3th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. 1554-66.



Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
The Relationship Between Father And Son in William Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning" - Normally in life, you look up to your father to be the care taker and to encourage you to make your own decisions on what is right and what is wrong. You figure your father should have your best interest at heart and to show compassion for you. In William Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning," Abner is the opposite of the normal father figure you would see. Rather than encouraging his son, Sarty, to make his own decisions on what is right and what is wrong, Abner wants Sarty to lie for him to protect his freedom, so Abner won’t get caught for burning barns....   [tags: William Faulkner, Barn Burning] 719 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Analysis of The Barn Burning by William Faulkner - Analysis of The Barn Burning by William Faulkner The short story “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner is about a ten year old boy, Sarty Snopes, who has grown to realize that his father, Abner Snopes, provides a life of “despair and grief” as he refuses to accept the “peace and dignity” generated by the ties with other people. In essence, Sarty is faced with the dilemma of choosing between his family (his blood) and moral conscience of what is right and wrong. Jane Hiles interprets this story to be about blood ties through Sartys character in dealing with his internal conflict with his father....   [tags: The Barn Burning William Faulkner Essays] 995 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Father's Legacy in William Faulkner's Barn Burning Essay - A Father's Legacy in William Faulkner's Short Story "Barn Burning" The cruel dominance of a father, can extinguish any flame of hope that builds in the people around him. In William Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning," Abner is that father. The story portrays a nomadic life of a family driven from one home to another. Abner had a craving hunger to belittle those around him that thought they were "better than him." Although the family accepts the nomadic life, Sarty (the son) dreams of having peace and stability....   [tags: William Faulkner Barn Burning] 1014 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Critical Analysis of Barn Burning by William Faulkner - Critical Analysis of Barn Burning by William Faulkner The story of "Barn Burning" was "first published in the June of 1939 in the Harper's Magazine and later awarded the O. Henry Memorial Award for the best short story of the year." The author, William Faulkner, "was one of America's most innovative novelists". The way he describes the smells, sites and sounds of the rural late 1800's make you feel as if you are there with the characters in this story. Through the use of symbolism, Faulkner tells the story about a relationship of a father and son....   [tags: Barn Burning William Faulkner Essays] 1230 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
William Faulkner's Barn Burning Essay - William Faulkner's Barn Burning William Faulkner, recognized as one of the greatest writers of all time, once made a speech as he accepted his Nobel prize for writing in which he stated that a great piece of writing should contain the truths of the heart and the conflicts that arise over these truths. These truths were love, honor, pity, pride, compassion and sacrifice. Truly it would be hard to argue that a story without these truths would be considered even a good story let alone a great one....   [tags: Faulkner Barn Burning]
:: 1 Works Cited
1247 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Loyalty to Family in Barn Burning by William Faulkner Essay example - Loyalty to Family in Barn Burning by William Faulkner The short story "Barn Burning" by William Faulkner is a stark look at the struggle of a boy to try to do what is right, or do what is best for his family during the post Civil War era. The main character, Sartoris Snopes is a poor son of a migrant tenant farmer who, in the opening scene is being questioned about the burning of a farmers barn by his father, Abner Snopes. The boy is torn between choosing what is right, telling the truth, or lying to protect his father....   [tags: Short Story Barn Burning William Faulkner]
:: 1 Works Cited
702 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about Character in William Faulkner's Barn Burning - Character in William Faulkner's Barn Burning The use of concise imagery and brilliant description in William Faulkner's "Barn Burning" gives depth and familiarity to his two main characters. It is the poignant story of a boy's inner struggle between his inherent sense of right and the constricting bonds of blood which tie him to his evil, domineering father and pathetic family. Faulkner often attributes to his characters animal-like qualities or compares them to elements of the earth (that he loves and knows so well)....   [tags: Barn Burning Essays] 595 words
(1.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on The Creation of Abner Snopes in William Faulkner's Barn Burning - The Creation of Abner Snopes in William Faulkner's Barn Burning   William Faulkner's "Barn Burning" is an intriguing story about a young boy named Colonel Sartoris's (Sarty) love and hatred for his father, Abner Snopes. Ab is a brutal and frightening man who instills fear into whom ever he seems to be close to. What is the cause of Abner Snopes's cruel-heartedness. Maybe it's his alienation from the higher class in society that causes him to act in this manner. When such a separation occurs in a community one can feel that he doesn't belong and because he does not belong that the only way the higher class will give him the time of day is if the person acts out and tries to prove that he do...   [tags: Faulkner Barn Burning Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1252 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Endless Circle in William Faulkner's Barn Burning Essay - The Endless Circle in William Faulkner's Barn Burning William Faulkner's short story “Barn Burning” is the tale of a southern man forced into a role by society. “Barn Burning” takes place in the post Civil War South where a mans place in society is derived by their actions during the war. Ab Snopse, a man who served both the North and the South, is plagued with his non-allegiance and failure to accept authority. When Ab comes into conflict with his employer, he finds himself taking control from the authority figure, and reverting back to his mercenary ways....   [tags: Barn Burning Essays] 632 words
(1.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Sarty's Transformation in William Faulkner's Barn Burning Essay - Sarty's Transformation in William Faulkner's Barn Burning    In William Faulkner's story, "Barn Burning", we find a young man who struggles with the relationship he has with his father and his own conscience.  We see Sarty, the young man, develop into an adult while dealing with the many crude actions and ways of Abner, his father.  We see Sarty as a puzzled youth that faces the questions of faithfulness to his father or faithfulness to himself and the society he lives in.  His struggle dealing with the reactions that are caused by his father's action result in him thinking more for himself as the story progresses....   [tags: Faulkner Barn Burning Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
861 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]