Ike McCaslin

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Ike McCaslin
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McCaslin, Ike
Uncle Ike, Ike
Upper Class
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Date of Birth: 
Sunday, January 1, 1871 to Wednesday, December 31, 1873

Isaac (Ike) McCaslin became one of Faulkner's best-known protagonists in "The Bear." In this magazine version of "Delta Autumn," he is mainly identified simply as "McCaslin" (268), and several times as "Uncle Ike" (267, 275). The complex family history that Faulkner gives him in Go Down, Moses is barely hinted at here. The story refers to his "father" as a Confederate soldier (273), and to his "wife and children" (274), all now dead. His true "home" is the wilderness in which he hunts each November (274), and it's clear that he wants to see the young men he accompanies on the hunting trips, "the sons and even the grandsons" of the men he first hunted with as his true 'children' (267, 274) - though the story is about how they betray the values he has tried to teach them. "Old McCaslin" (268) is nearly seventy, and his mood is elegaic. He realizes that he and the wilderness share a life span. When "what people called progress" had destroyed the big woods, he will also enter a "scope free of both time and space" (275). But by the end of the story he peace he hoped to find again in the woods is gone.

In the <em>Go Down, Moses</em> stories, Isaac McCaslin is the son of Theophilus "Uncle Buck" McCaslin and Sophonsiba Beauchamp, and also widowed and childless. As an older man, "Uncle Ike," he is a significant figure in Yoknapatawpha County. When he was younger, he hunted with some of Jefferson's most influential men: General Compson and Major de Spain. He learned the proper way to hunt and to live with the wilderness from Sam Fathers, the grandson of a Chickasaw chief. Fifty weeks a year he lives in a house in Jefferson, but feels at "home" during the two weeks each year he spends hunting, and trying to mentor the "sons and grandsons" of his old companions (274).
Property Status: 
owns land
owns house
Financial Status: 
controls substantial wealth
Social Status: 
has influential social contacts (family, business, political)
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