Barn Burning

Peter Werner’s Barn Burning

Barn Burning written by William Faulkner, directed by Peter Werner, is a short story about a ten year old boy, Sarty Snopes, who is facing a conflict. Sarty’s father, Abner, is a barn burner and Sarty is divided as to whether he should let the law do its job or turn him in his self. Each time Abner walks away a free man, even though he is guilty. It is an injustice and Sarty wishes that he could stop his father, but on the other hand, he feels he should protect the family name. The struggle between Sarty and Abner conveys the film’s theme: one boy’s struggle for some form of identity and human dignity.
Abner Snopes, Sarty’s father keeps on reminding him that family relations are very important and that “he was getting to be a man. He got to learn to stick to his own blood or he won’t have any blood to stick to him”. The film presents Sarty with two opposing choices. He can choose to side with his father because they are related by blood or choose to be loyal to the justice system in the community. Sarty knows very well that his father is a barn burner and he does not like the injustice, but his father keeps on drumming the fact that he has to take the side of his blood relatives. As he argued earlier, “blood is the only ones that will take your side no matter the circumstances.”
After his father burns the barn the law gets involved for the first time.   This is where we first see Sarty’s conflict come to life when he is asked the question by the judge “where was your father last night?”   After the trail, another instance where he shows his allegiance to the loyalty of the family is when they leave the court room or store where court was held he gets in a fight with two boys because they ridicule him and his father, they call him a “barn burner.” Although it might be clear that he lived in ‘terror and fear’ of his father, he cannot just stand the soiling of both his father’s and his own name. The family then leaves the town on to...