The Man Who Was Almost a Man Essay

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Taking the deer hunt from William Faulkner's story "The Old People" as a model of the literary tradition of a hunt as a boy's initiation into manhood, Loftis shows how the conventions are subverted in Dave's killing of the mule.

For a people living in a new and unsettled land, variations on the archetype of the young hero who achieves manhood by hunting and slaying a wild beast came early and naturally as a literary theme. American writers have consistently dramatized the threat of the wilderness as an element in their heroes' rites du passage. The courageous and determined Natty Bumpo, the Deerslayer, is still an All- American hero and a model for the heroes of later generations. Captain Ahab, equally courageous in his madness, is perhaps the archetype in its demonic or perverted form. Modern writers continue the tradition: Hemingway with Francis Macomber and Faulkner with, particularly...

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This section contains 2,776 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Man Who Was Almost a Man Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Man Who Was Almost a Man from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.