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In both Barn Burning by William Faulkner and A Sorrowful Woman by Gail Godwin the primary characters are torn between external expectations and internal desires Although both characters share a similar experience they resolve their conflict in very different manners Sarty from Barn Burning breaks from his family betraying his father and beginning a new life for himself The protagonist of A Sorrowful Woman is unable to bear the strain of her situation and chooses death as an escape In Barn Burning we are introduced to Sarty as he sits in a general store that has been converted into a courtroom In this initial paragraph we begin to see that which will embroil Sarty throughout the story the conflict between filial duty and his own conscience As he crouches on his nail kegs hoping to fly beneath the radar he analyzes the scents in the air described by Faulkner as the cheese which he knew he smelled and the hermetic meat which his intestines believed he smelled coming in intermittent gusts between the other constant one the smell and sense just a little of fear because mostly of despair and grief the old fierce pull of blood 493 Like an animal Sarty is scenting the air in order to make sense of a confusing situation He doesnt truly seem to understand the situation but he recognizes the conflict and feels despair In this initial paragraph he chooses to side with family reminding himself that his fathers enemy is also our enemyourn Mine and hisn both Hes my father493 Though he tries to side with his father when he is asked to take the stand as a witness he begins to feel the pressure of conflict again While walking to the front of the room beneath the palpable gaze of the town and judge he panics Faulkner writes He aims for me to lie he thought again with that frantic grief and despair And I will
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