Deer Crossing in the Big Woods (Location Key)


This "faint crossing" in the wilderness figures in "The Old People," "The Bear" and Go Down, Moses. Located near De Spain's hunting camp, it is where a deer trail, a path the animals themselves have made through the woods, intersects the trail along the ridge that the hunters have made. Such crossings are good places to wait for game. It is where Sam Fathers teaches Quentin Compson (in "The Old People"), the unnamed boy (in "The Bear"), and Ike McCaslin (in Go Down, Moses) how to hunt big game. In the second two texts it is the site of each young hunter's first encounter Old Ben, the bear. While Faulkner does not provide much information as to its precise whereabouts in those texts it is near enough to camp to cause the boy to be surprised that the bear would ever wander so close to people, to which Sam responds that the bear "do it every year . . . Maybe to see who in camp this time" (283, 187).

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Deer Crossing in the Big Woods