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The Moral Conflict Essay

1021 words - 4 pages

The Moral Conflict The moral conflicts in Barn Burning and Old Chief Mshlanga are both similar and different. Sarty and Nkosikaas face conflicts between two forces; Sarty faces a conflict between his father and the justice, and Nkosikaas faces a conflict between the natives and her white heritage. There are also differences along with the similarities in these two short stories. Sarty and Nkosikaas have different relationships with their fathers. Sarty talks to his father, Nkosikaas does not. Sarty tells on his father to Major de Spain, Nkosikaas does not say anything to her father while him and the chief are arguing.Sarty and Nkosikaas both face similar conflicts but they involve different people. In Barn Burning Sarty must choose between his father or the justice. Nkosikaas must choose between changing her view so that it incorporates either the black and white people or just her people, the white people. Sarty wants to tell the justice but is afraid because he knows he will get in trouble if he does not lie for his father. His own name is a contradiction because Sarty is pulled between his father and the justice. Satoris is his first name that beckons him to reach justice, and Snopes is his last name that tells him to keep the blood tie. Even his father tells him to stick to his blood " you got to learn to stick to your blood or you ain't going to have any blood to stick to you." If he doesn't lie for his father, then he won't have the rest of his family to rely on. When Sarty gets into the fight with the kid who calls his father a barnburner he keeps the blood on himself to show his father that he is loyal to him. This is actually a cover up to make it look like Sarty is following his blood tie when he really isn't. Sarty does not want to lie for his father anymore and wants to walk the path of justice.Nkosikaas faces a similar conflict. In Old Chief Mshlanga Nkosikaas is faced with the conflict of either continuing to be "alienated" from Africa or changing her relationship with the natives and no longer become "alienated". Her mother has taught her that natives are inferior to them. In the beginning she follows her own view and treats the natives with less respect than that of an animal. The little girl refers to the natives as "tadpoles" because they are grouped together and insignificant, in her mind they are not even human. She views the landscape " "¦the Northern witch, bred of cold Northern forests"¦" as English instead of African. All this changes once she meets Old Chief Mshlanga. Nkosikaas begins to break away from the way she was brought up once she realizes that Chief has dignity and owns the land, and she believes that her people have treated the Chief unfairly. Once Nkosikaas sees this, her perspective of the African landscape is clear ""¦the other landscape in my mind faded,...

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