After reading this particular short story, I felt inclined to read it again for a deeper understanding as to what was really going on in the story. What encapsulated me in the story was not necessarily the events that occurred in the text, but more so the character relationships that the father (Abner Snopes) had with others, particularly Abner’s relationship with Sarty.
It is evident in the text that Sarty is a small innocent boy, far different from his father. I take it that Sarty took most of his characteristics from his mother, who tries to protect her children from the wrath of their father on numerous occasions. On the first couple pages of the text we see that Sarty is being forced to testify against his father, however the court ends up dismissing the young boy because they realize how uncomfortable Sarty is throughout the situation. We never truly find out if Sarty would have ratted his father out for burning the barn down. I think it is an interesting question to ponder upon. Would he have exposed his father’s wrongdoing, or would he have remained silent if the court forced him to speak?
While reading the last couple paragraphs of the text, the song “Burn” from the musical Hamilton was playing in my mind. The barn never really got burned down thanks to Sarty telling DeSpain of his fathers plans. Sarty’s father got killed in the process of DeSpain saving his farm however, which is where the song “Burn” comes into play (https://genius.com/Original-broadway-cast-of-hamilton-burn-lyrics ). The lyrics in the song go “You have torn it all apart; I’m watching it burn”, which I think play perfectly into Sarty and Abner’s relationship at the end of the story.
Abner’s evil intentions were the primary reason that led Sarty’s honest nature to expose his fathers plans of burning the barn down. In the last paragraphs of the text Sarty is saddened by his fathers death, he is watching his fathers life “burn” away. Sarty runs away and doesn’t look back. Does a better future await Sarty?