William Faulkner Writing Styles in The Bear

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Point of View

While "The Bear" is a third-person narrative, it is told from the point of view of IkeMcCaslin. Yet not all that Ike knows is told. For example, neither Ike nor the narrator ever actually confirms that Boon killed Sam. McCaslin makes this assumption, and Ike, the only witness, lets his statement remain uncontested. Even more complicated are the conjectures of Ike and McCaslin about Eunice's suicide. It is here that the narrator is demonstrated to be not omniscient (all-knowing), but a more limited, and experimental, version of the traditional third-person narrator.

Symbolism

The most prominent symbol in "The Bear" is, of course, Old Ben. Symbolizing the natural world of which he is a part, Old Ben, by dying, also symbolizes the destruction of nature that the railroad and the foresters bring. Ben's killer, Boon Hogganbeck, represents modern man seeking to wrest nature to his advantage with...

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This section contains 963 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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Short Stories for Students
The Bear from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.