The dominant themes of Thoreau’s ‘Walden’ and Faulkner’s ‘The Bear’ are similar as the authors of the two works reflect the relationship of man with nature as one which is unbreakable and how the realization of the strength of this relationship can lead a man to live a life of solitude and simplicity. As in Thoreau’s ‘Walden’ the author describes how he left civilization in order to come back to nature. Faulkner, on the other hand, depicts the character of Ike to represent man’s inherent instinct to return to nature while re-establishing the relationship through a solitude and simple living.
William Faulkner’s ‘The Bear’ tells the story of a man’s development as he moves towards wideness. The story appeared in Faulkner’s novel ‘Go Down, Moses’ in 1942. ‘The Bear’ is mainly a tale about the hunting expedition of Isaac Mc Caslin in the wild lands of the region Tallahatchie River. Ike (Isaac Mc Caslin) under the guidance of an expert, Sam Fathers, and with the help of Lion, a ferocious dog, attempts to track and hunt Old Ben (a large, ancient bear with a mutilated paw). Lion and Sam are killed while hunting Old Ben, who is splayed by Boon Hogganbeck (a member of Indian hunting party). Ike meets Cass Edmonds, his cousin, and renounces the Mc Caslin inheritance when he comes to know the ingenious past of his forefathers who were guilty of incest and slavery. He refutes his claim for inheritance as a gesture of guilt over the sins of his forefathers. In the final section of the novella Ike returns to wild lands and meets half insane Boon who becomes hysteric as he espies Ike.
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