Theme Of The Bear In The Bear By William Faulkner

“The Bear” “The Bear” by William Faulkner is a classic coming of age story about a young boy and an elderly bear. At first, this story seems to be about a hunting trip to locate a legendary, invincible bear but, in the end, turns out to be much more. Ike McCaslin will not only face the struggle of growing up but also navigating his own morals. In “The Bear” Ike McCaslin masters his “kindergarten” learns of the bear in college, and graduates to understand the alma mater. In the beginning of the excerpt, Ike is ten years old, and has an understanding of the significance of “The Bear.” Ike is familiar with the large, willful creature and the hunters’ fascination with it. Before Ike was of age to attend the yearly trip, he intently watched the group of hunters embark on a quest to hunt the bear. Ike notes that the hunters “kept a yearly rendezvous with the bear they did not even intend to kill” (Faulkner 27). Ike seems to learn on his own simply by watching his elders and what they do. Sam Fathers, Ike’s mentor, teaches him when and if to shoot, as well …show more content…
Instead, “there was a boy who wished to learn humility and pride in order to become skillful and worthy in the woods” (Faulkner 35). Perhaps Ike is secure in his abilities leading him to the decision to not shoot the bear. Since Ike’s skills were large and vast it is possible “he found himself becoming so skillful so rapidly that he feared he would ever become worthy in the woods” (Faulkner 35). It would seem Ike would not shoot the bear for the simple reason of wanting to be brave without compromising his morals. Ike has surpassed the learning stages of his life in the wilderness, by coming into contact with Old Ben twice and not shooting either time. Ike has now graduated to the alma mater stage of life, where he has learned, mastered and accomplished his hunting mission for the

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