Internal conflict is a main theme in both Barn Burning by William Faulkner and the Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck. In Barn Burning, the protagonist, Colonel Sartoris Snopes, is torn between his loyalty to his father and his own sense of justice. On the one hand, he knows that his father is a cruel man who has deliberately burned down barns; on the other hand, he loves and respects his father. In the end, Colonel Sartoris Snopes chooses to side with his own conscience, and he kills his father.
In the Chrysanthemums, Elisa Allen is also faced with an internal conflict. She is a woman who feels trapped in her role as a wife and mother. She yearns for adventure and excitement, but feels that her life is nothing more than a dull routine. When she meets a stranger who seems to understand her longing for more, she is tempted to run away with him. In the end, Elisa decides to stay with her family, but she has been changed by her encounter with the stranger.
Although “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner and “The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck have different plots, they both focus on similar ideas.
The protagonists of both stories face an internal conflict. In “Barn Burning” Colonel Sartoris Snopes is torn between the loyalty to his father and the sense of justice. On one hand, he doesn’t want to see his father going to jail for burning Mr. Harris’ barn. But on the other hand, he knows that it was wrong and he can’t lie to save his father. In the end, he makes a decision in favor of justice and testifies against his father.
The protagonist of “The Chrysanthemums”, Elisa Allen, also has to make a choice between two things she values – her beauty and domestic life, or adventure and self-realization. Unlike Sartoris Snopes, she doesn’t have to choose between right and wrong, but the decision is not easy for her either. She chooses domestic life in the end, but we see that the choice is not fully satisfying for her.
The characters of both stories have to make a difficult decision, which leads to internal conflict. While Sartoris Snopes chooses moral values over family ties, Elisa Allen’s priorities are different. However, neither of them is completely happy with the choice they make.
Faulkner’s story “Barn Burning” discusses the internal conflict Sartoris Snopes, a young boy, faces when forced to make a life-altering decision. He must choose between lying in court under his father’s pressure and telling the truth, despite knowing it will result in his father going to jail.
Sartoris’s father, Abner Snopes, is a very strict man who does not accept any form of defiance from his children. Sartoris is constantly under his father’s control and is not allowed to make his own decisions. In the story “The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck, the protagonist Elisa Allen is also facing an internal conflict. She is stuck in a loveless marriage and is unfulfilled by her domestic life. Elisa feels trapped and longs for something more exciting.
Unlike Sartoris, Elisa does not have anyone to tell her what to do or how to live her life. She must make her own decisions and figure out how to find happiness on her own. While both characters are facing internal conflict, they are doing so in different ways. Sartoris is struggling to defy his father and live his own life, while Elisa is trying to find herself and figure out what will make her happy.
Internal conflict can be difficult to overcome, but it is something that everyone faces at some point in their lives. Whether it is deciding to stand up to a strict parent or finding the courage to leave a loveless marriage, overcoming internal conflict requires strength and perseverance. These two stories show that even though the journey may be difficult, it is possible to find happiness and fulfilment on the other side.
The novel’s protagonist is heavily influenced by his father, Abner. In one telling scene, Abner tells him “You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain’t going have any blood to stick to you.” ( P 496). This powerful quote reflects the central theme of the story: Sarty’s struggle with familial loyalty versus doing what he believes is right. Faulkner skilfully depicts the main character’s inner conflict and dilemma.
He is trying to break away from his father’s control and do what he believes is right, but at the same time feels a sense of loyalty towards him.
John Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums” also deals with the issue of blood ties and inner conflict. The main character, Elisa Allen, is a woman who feels trapped in her marriage. She is not able to have children and her husband does not seem to understand her.
Elisa feels a strong connection to the chrysanthemums that she grows, and they represent her own femininity and sexuality. When a stranger comes to town and shows an interest in her flowers, she starts to feel alive again. However, she eventually realizes that she can never truly escape her current situation.
Both Barn Burning and The Chrysanthemums deal with the theme of blood ties and inner conflict. In both stories, the main characters are trying to break away from their past, but they are ultimately held back by a sense of loyalty or obligation. These stories show that sometimes it is difficult to let go of what is familiar, even if it is not good for us.
We begin to understand the main character’s ethical quandary from the start of the narrative. I believe Faulkner makes us consider: at what point does a person have to choose between his parents’ and family’s beliefs and their own values? Sarty is put through a test during this circumstance. “Do you think any boy named for Colonel Sartoris in this country can’t help but tell the truth, can they?” ( P 154).
This is the first time that Sarty has to make a choice, and his answer reveals what he believes. “I reckon not”, he replied (P154). From this point on Faulkner constantly forces Sarty to make choices between his family and what is right.
A similar situation occurs in “The Chrysanthemums”. Elisa’s husband tells her that she should get rid of her chrysanthemums because they take too much of her time, “‘You’re wasting your life down here in these foolishness'” (Steinbeck, P 1238). He does not understand why she spends so much time caring for them.
For Elisa, the chrysanthemums represent her children that she never had. When the tinker comes to fix their wagon, she saw an opportunity to have someone to talk to about her chrysanthemums. She gives him some of her chrysanthemums and tells him how to take care of them. She is elated when he says that he will put them in water as soon as he gets home.
The difference between the two stories is that Sarty chooses what is right, even though it means going against his family. Elisa, on the other hand, does not want to leave her chrysanthemums behind and goes with the tinker.