Blood comes up a great deal in “Barn Burning” though usually in terms of the blood shared by relatives. Sarty begins the story, Barn Burning, describing the smell in the store, “the old fierce pull of blood” (108). The pull of blood Sarty feels exists between him ans his father. The bond of blood between him and his father is so strong that Sarty cannot escape. Sarty cannot escape from his family heritage, the physical presence or absence of blood is more related to how the family responds to such bonds.
Sarty faces many challenges in the story where he has to tell the truth or go against the blood of his family. After the court trial, Mr.Snopes is telling Sarty hos important family is, “You’ve got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain’t going to have any blood to stick to you” (110). Sarty’s father Abner is suggesting that Sarty is responsible for keeping his father alive by telling lies for him. Sarty has to keep on lying in order to protect his family’s blood. Sarty soon realizes and makes his decision that he doesn’t want any blood to stick with him. At the start of the book Sarty knows the meaning of the smell of, “the old fierce pull of blood” (108) symbolizes the one-side of how his father views his family’s bloodline.