Barn Burning Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

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In Faulkner's "Barn Burning," how do Sarty's actions reveal a characteristic of human nature? (Please refer to the last two paragraphs of the story.)

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In William Faulkner's "Barn Burning," Sarty's actions in the last portion of the story reflect a characteristic of human nature. All the while Sarty has lived with his family, miserably poor and constantly moving, the son to a selfish and vindictive man (Ab Snopes), he has tried to remain loyal to his father, even when asked to lie to the authorities. However, as time passes, Sarty starts to struggle between remaining loyal to his "blood relation" or doing the "right" thing.

We are aware of the struggle when the story begins and Sarty is saved from having to lie about his father's barn burning. His father accuses Sarty of almost telling the truth in the "court," and hits Sarty across the face. Sarty realizes that his father was right. This foreshadows Sarty's behavior at the end of the story.

Once again the family has moved, working now for the de Spain family, living on their property. But even from the beginning, Ab is antagonistic toward his employer, and when de Spain plans to make Ab...

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