The Path of Integrity
Sarty is only ten years old, but growing up fast. In “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner, Sarty is estranged as he struggles between obedience to his arsonist father, Abner, and his developing sense of integrity. The internal struggle is evident early in the story, when he is brought before a local Justice of the Peace to be questioned in the case of his father burning a neighbor’s barn. In the moments before he is to be questioned, he knows that his father expects him to lie on his behalf which makes him feel “frantic grief and despair” (Faulkner 801). Sarty can say nothing, and the case results in Abner being told to leave town. Abner knows that Sarty was struggling with the truth, and later that evening forewarns him, “You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain’t going to have any blood to stick to you” (803). Shortly after they arrive at their new home, Abner takes Sarty with him to go meet the plantation owner, Major. Sarty feels a “surge of peace and joy”() as he arrives at the beautiful home, like he is safe and nothing bad can happen. However, his father deliberately soils an expensive carpet when they enter the home and makes spiteful comments. Sarty doesn’t comment on the incident, but the stark contract between their reactions to the Major’s home reinforces the alienation between them. Sarty continues to hope that this will be a fresh start for his family and his father will change his ways, while Abner escalates the tension with the property owner over the carpet to the point he decides to burn down the Major’s barn. As Abner begins to make preparations, he tells Sarty’s mother to hold Sarty, because he knows the boy will go and warn the Major. In the heat of the moment, Sarty’s acts on his conscious, even though he knows he is supposed to support his Pap. He struggles with his mother, escapes, and runs to the house, warning to Major. The barn is saved by his actions, but the Major kills his father for his attempt to burn down his barn. In the story, Sarty never goes home, facing an uncertain future alone as a result of choosing his own sense of integrity over his father.
The rest of the paper should be in normal text. The paper should be one page, more or less by four lines. Integrate at least one quote into a sentence. No stand-alone quotes. Quotes should be short and contribute to what you are saying.
Use in text citations using the author and page number. If quoting from Dr. doCarmo’s handout you must still introduce the title and author. Unless you are using a different author, the citation should be the author and page number (Harte 355) or (doCarmo 2). Subsequent references should only include the page number. The citation comes after the quote, before the period. Use specific examples but do not re-tell the story. Commas and periods always go inside the quotation marks, unless there is a citation following.
Use present tense verbs, not past tense. The paper...