Unnamed Boy Hunter

Text: 
Display Name: 
Unnamed Boy Hunter
Sort Name: 
Unnamed Boy Hunter
Race: 
White
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Upper Class
Rank: 
Major
Vitality: 
Alive
Origin: 
Yoknapatawpha
Biography: 

When adapting the first two manuscript sections of “The Bear” for this much shortened magazine version, Faulkner altered two aspects of the young protagonist. In the manuscript sections that he sent to Random House in September 1941, Ike McCaslin is a sixteen-year-old adolescent, who is taught to hunt by one of his father’s former slaves, Sam Fathers. In the magazine version, Faulkner provided no name for his young protagonist and changed his age to ten. Apart from these revisions, the boy remains largely the same, for he is upper-class, a member of one of the old Yoknapatawpha families and the presumptive heir of a plantation as indicated by the "old heavy biscuit-thick silver watch" he was given by his grandfather (289). The boy is obsessed with the mythology of Old Ben, a bear whom his father and his hunting companions have been unable to kill despite repeated efforts. During the course of the story, Sam Fathers teaches the boy to hunt in the Big Bottom wilderness and, through this tutelage and his friendship with the older man, the boy encounters the ideological limits of the plantation system into which he was born, perceiving “the wilderness, the big woods, bigger and older than any recorded document of white man fatuous enough to believe he had bought any fragment of it or Indian ruthless enough to pretend that any fragment of it had been his to convey” (293).

Note: 
JBP: removed birthdate (5/23/15)
Individual or Group: 
Individual
7497

Character