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Later that morning, de Spain rides up and infuriatingly tells Snopes that the rug is ruined, and that he is charging him 20 bushels of corn for destroying it, in addition to what Snopes already owes for renting the farm.The snobbish tone that de Spain uses to berate Snopes — "But you never had a hundred dollars.Immediately, Sarty notices that his father possesses a "stiff black back" that is not dwarfed by the house. To Sarty, the mansion represents everything associated with truth, justice, and culture.
Snopes feels superior only when he encounters someone who is black — in this case, the butler.
Except in the South, nowhere in the United States could such a white-trash character like Abner Snopes enter the front door of a mansion if the butler forbade entry.
His motivations for deliberately soiling and then ruining the rug are essentially related to his wounded foot and his wounded pride.
He resents being treated worse than most blacks would be treated, and he is angered by de Spain's contempt for him.
Early the next morning, Sarty is awakened by his father, who tells him to saddle the mule.
With Sarty riding and Snopes walking, they carry the rolled-up rug back to de Spain's, throw it on his front porch, and return home.Farms can thrive without houses, but they are doomed to fail without barns. Although he knows that his father is a barn burner, Sarty fights the boys to defend his father's integrity, while hoping fervently that his father will stop burning barns: "Forever he thought. He cannot bring himself to finish the sentence, which presumably would end, "before he . That night at a makeshift camp, he calls for Sarty to join him in a walk, and their ensuing conversation elaborates again the theme of family loyalty versus truth and justice.Realizing that Sarty was going to tell the Justice of the Peace the truth about the barn burning, Abner slaps his son in a dispassionate manner much like he earlier whipped the mules that pulled the wagon — "without heat." He warns Sarty about the importance of family and explains that none of the men in the courtroom would have defended him.The opening of "Barn Burning" emphasizes the antithetical loyalties that confront Sarty. However, he warns Snopes to leave the county and not come back.The setting is a makeshift court for a Justice of the Peace, for Abner Snopes has been accused of burning Mr. Immediately, Sarty is convinced that the people in the court are his and his father's enemies. The courtroom scene and the following fight outside between Sarty and some boys underscore Sarty's predicament.He tells Sarty, "You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain't going to have any blood to stick to you." In other words, if you are not utterly loyal to your own family, no matter if the family is right or wrong, then you will have no place to turn when you need help. " Faulkner then recounts the events that have led up to the charge against Sarty's father: Mr.At the end of the story, this is Sarty's dilemma — he has no place to go and no one to turn to. Harris had warned Snopes to keep his hog out of the farmer's cornfield, and he had even given Snopes enough wire to pen the hog; after the hog escaped yet again into Harris' field, the farmer kept the hog and charged Snopes a dollar for "pound fee"; Snopes paid the fee and sent word to Harris that "wood and hay kin burn." Because there is no proof — other than this enigmatic message — that Snopes is responsible for burning the barn, the judge is legally forced to find him innocent.Consequently, Snopes can feel superior to the black butler only because his own skin is white.Two hours later, Sarty sees de Spain ride up to his father.We also discover that Harris' barn is not the first barn that he has burned.Snopes never burns farm houses, and while we might initially conclude that this restraint is proof that Snopes isn't wholly incorrigible, we soon learn that on farms, barns are more important than houses because they hold livestock and oftentimes harvested crops, which provide the money and food that farmers and their families need to survive. ." Sarty cannot complete his thought that his father is not only a barn burner, but that he has been one for so long that before he burns down one barn, he has "already arranged to make a crop on another farm before he . ." Again, Sarty severs his thought before he comes to the logical conclusion. burnt down the barn." Following the courtroom scene, Snopes loads his family into a wagon, headed for another farm on which to work.