Both stories have a preadolescent protagonist. Sarty is ten years old, and Andy (Andrea) is nine.Both young people are trying tofind who they arein the choices theymake now. These choices will determine the kind of adults they will be when they grow up. Although both Sarty and Andy struggle in their relationships with their fathers, Sarty's situation is much more serious than Andy's.
In "Barn Burning", Sarty's father is a vicious criminal who has moved his family at least twelve times in ten years because of the father's warlike attitude toward society. He's a quarrelsome and violent man who has taught Sarty no moral values; instead, he teaches him immorality at its worst. His father expects Sarty to be loyal by lying for him. In the end, Sarty rebels against his father by stopping him from burning another barn. Sarty frees himself from his father and the chaotic life his father constantly exposed him to.He takes a stand to do what's right even though he's now alone. The only way Sarty can mature is by distancing himself from his father and what he stands for.
In "Doe Season", Andy goes hunting with her father and another man and his son. She's on the verge of young womanhood, but she's confused by what that means. After shooting a deer, she runs away when the men gut the deer. This hunting trip is her initiation into the adult world, and she begins to mature into the woman Andrea instead of the tomboy Andy.
In Doe Season, the primary concept of the story revolves around the Andrea's relationship with her father. Andy wants to please her father. Her father takes her to a hunting trip to see if she can be a part of the man's world. He asks her to shoot a deer and then make her watch as he and Charlie gut the animal. At the cost of displeasing her father, Andy could not deny the fact that she has to remain true to her identity. She chooses to be true to herself in the end as symbolized by running away from the assembly of men gutting the deer.
In Barn Burning, the story's conflict arose when Sarty faced by the need to expose the truth, must choose between family and morality. The story's primary theme also revolves around relationship between father and son. This relationship is put to test as Sarty is face with an important decision to choose between defending his father and defending the truth.
Both protagonists feel alienated. Andy wants to be accepted in an all male group yet she feels alienated because she is the odd one out. Sarty feels alienated as he finds himself on the verge of moral awareness. His father's crime cuts him off from the larger social world of which he is growing conscious. This sense of alienation takes more prominence in his relation with his father who should be the moral model of the child. Due to his father's criminal tendencies, Sarty finds himself the bigger choice of either alienating himself from his family or sticking with them.