In the short stories, “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner and “The Lie” by Kurt Vonnegut, both main characters are maturing from childhood into adulthood. This maturing process occurs in two different ways. It can occur from speaking up for one’s self and sticking to one’s true values, even if those around disagree, as we see with Colonel Sartoris Snopes, in “Barn Burning”. Another way one can mature is by recognizing one’s own feelings, even if prompted by an outside factor, such as Eli Remenzel did with the help of his mother, Sylvia Remenzel.
Both Eli and Sartoris knew what they wanted, but they differed in how they acted and reacted. Eli did not take an active role in telling his father that he wasn’t accepted to Whitehill School for Boys, nor did he explain to his father that he didn’t want to go to the school altogether. Rather, he tore up his rejection letter and played along with his father until they arrived at the school. However, Sartoris, throughout the story, has an internal conflict if he should do what is right vs. stay loyal to his father as he describes as “Being pulled two ways like between two teams of horses” (Faulkner 7).
Sartoris’s father yelled at Sartoris after he almost told the justice that his father in fact did burn down the barn, saying, “You got to learn. You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain’t going to have any blood to stick to you” (Faulkner 3). Sylvia Remenzel realized that best place for her son was not the Whitehill School for Boys”