Unnamed Boy Hunter

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Unnamed Boy Hunter
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Unnamed Boy Hunter
Upper Class
Date of Birth: 
Friday, January 1, 1892
First Person
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The twelve-year-old, unnamed, upper-class boy who narrates "The Old People" also appears in "The Bear." He learns how to hunt from Sam Fathers, killing his first deer under the latter's guidance. Indeed, Fathers smears the blood of the buck upon the boy's face as a masculine rite of passage. The unnamed boy might originally been Quentin Compson; according to Joseph Blotner, in the typescript of "The Old People" Faulkner identified the boy's father explicitly as "Mr Compson." And when Faulkner revised the story for inclusion in Go Down, Moses, the boy is Ike McCaslin. But in this first, magazine publication of the story, the boy's identity is left unspecified. He does refer in three places in the story to "Uncle Ike" (206, 207), which might suggest that the boy is a McCaslin; however, in other Faulkner texts, Ike McCaslin is often referred to "Uncle" even though there is no relation between McCaslin and the characters who call him "Uncle." What is clear about the boy's identity is that he belongs to one of the oldest Yoknapatawpha planter families (his great-grandfather bought slaves from the Chickasaw "almost a hundred years ago," 203). He resides on a farm "four miles from Jefferson" (203). The boy's unnamed father is hunting partners with Major de Spain and Walter Ewell and as soon as he is old enough, the boy becomes a member of the group that annually goes into the big woods to hunt. But more important to him than his white upper-class patrimony is what he has learned, about hunting and life from Sam Fathers. Thanks to the old man's tutelage, he is given the mystical gift of being able, once, to view Fathers' "vanished and forgotten people" (209).

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has influential social contacts (family, business, political)
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