With all of the hunting trips that Ike experienced through his many trips, taught him many different lessons about living and many life lessons in which he experienced. On some of these trips he learned courage, self-reliance and conquering his own fear and many more lessons. In William Faulkner descriptive short stories the author use many different symbols that do relate to different things but it take serious thinking to decide what it truly relates too. Set in the deep woods of Mississippi in the early 20th century the story tells about a young boy who goes through a journey to be come a man and a respectable one at that. Though his use of symbols, Faulkner suggests that only when a person can face and conquer their fear, can they attain charter, experience and maturity.
Faulkner effectively uses symbolism in "THE BEAR" by using the bear to represent the boy's deepest fear and the relation, in which Ike lives in.
"Then it moved. It made no sound. It did not hurry. It crossed the glade, walking for an instant into the glare of the sun; when it reached the other side it stopped again and looked back at him across one shoulder at him across one shoulder while his quiet breathing inhaled and exhaled three times". The bear was testing the Ike true courage to see what the boy would do under his deepest fear and see Ike react to the bear with out his gun. The bear wanted to see if the boy would run or freeze up or to see if the boy would admire the bear like Ike did in his dreams. The bear most represent the strength of being old and like an mortal figure that no one can bare themselves shoot the bear or hit him with a bullet. Furthermore, according to Robert A. Jellife Ã¢ÂÂ¦that was the story of not just a boy but any human geeing to grow, as he grows up to complete with the earth, the world, it had been strong and lived within its own code of morality, it dissevered to be treated with respect. And that's what that little boy did. He learned not about bears, from the bear but he learned about the world, he learned about man. About courage, about pity, about responsibility, from that bears. It seems that the Ike does the fastest growing during the two hunting trips a year than the other times in which he at home. "Then he realized that the face was not going to stop. He flung the gun away and ran when he overtook and grasped and the frantically pinwheeling little dog it seemed to him that he was directly under the bear." This is the moment that Ike overcomes his fear of the great bear and realizes this act he beat the bear. Ike had finally realized he had over come the fear of the bear and did not think about him but his little dog, which he went to save.
Faulkner also uses symbolism to convey his message by having the boy learn the woods this represent the boy maturing and growing up and finding him self and his self worth. "You will have to choose. (Faulkner) Sam father is saying to Ike that only you can decide on what path you want to take in life. Like the Robert Frost Poem "A path less traveled" about a path that forks and you can only travel one path. Ike most decide if and how he is going to live his life is it going to be for good or bad. Ike deliberate and disciplined mature of the woodsÃ¢ÂÂ¦ represents his dedicated struggle for self-discovery and self-knowledge .The forest, as it is in Hawthorne's fiction, is symbolic of the unconscious self. Ike must wander through the maze; he must search the labyrinths of his own deepest self in order to discover who he is and learn the essential truths of life". (Faulkner) This suggests that Ike final decide that he has to grow up. He walk in the woods with out the riffle and tries to find him self. He knows that once he crossed this line there was no way of coming back it was final. The line is when he walks into the woods by himself. He walks and walks but can not find the answer he is looking for." He thought all right. Yes but what? And stood for a moment, alien and small in the green and topless solitude, answering his own question before it had formed and ceased. It was the watch and compass, the stick-the three lifeless mechanical with which for nine hours he had fended the wilderness off; He hung the watch and compass carefully on a bush and learned the stick beside them and relinquished it completely." This is when Ike was really ready to find himself He found out that only he could find the answer he was looking for. No tool or object or person could tell him or help him in his search for his answers. He waited and stated to find answer that his father had ask and questions he had asked himself. When Ike finally came back from the woods he was mature and learned many life lessons and could answer his father questions. He left a boy and came back as a grown man that knew his baron and self worth and found his own character.
Faulkner's most effective symbol in the "The Bear " is the courage that the small fyce displayed in the heat of battle, showed the fyce no longer feared the bear or maybe the fyce never feared anything again. "And he now knew what Sam Fathers had meant about the right dog, a dog in which size would mean less than nothing." (Faulkner) The fyce knew that one day he was going to fight an up hill battle. He only had the courage, in which he believed in him self with. When he saw the bear and knew he had to do this, this was his one and only chance to fight. If he didn't fight he would run from the bear forever. "I don't know even that I'm not going to heaven, because they have already decided that I don't posses an immortal soul. So all I can be brave. But it's all right. I can be that even if they still call it just noise". (Faulkner) "In Sam fathers, Ike had seen in addition to the wild invincible sprit of the bear inherited pride and humility the rewards of endurance and suffering. And from the little fyce he also learned courage. (Jellife) Ike learned from the small strength did not matter, size did not matter, age did not matter nothing matter except for the courage to be brave and not scared. Weighing less than six pounds, saying as if to itself, I "can't be dangerous, because there's nothing much smaller than I am; I can't be fierce, because they would just call it noiseÃ¢ÂÂ¦(Faulkner) Though the dog was small it still fought the bear. The fyce did not care he was out gunned he just wanted to prove just once he could do it. When the fyce saw the bear he went full force into the bear and wanted to fight. The bear probably did not expect such a small creature to do this but the Ike saw it and got courage from the fyce and recessed him. The tiny fyce did something for him but he also showed and taught Ike a learning lesson he never forgot.
The hunting trips that Ike experienced taught him many valuable lessons in life that helped Ike relaxed who he really was and find his true calling about life. Ike watched and learned many different lessons some where from animals and other where from personal experience like the saving the small fyce from the bear and not being scared of it and saving a dog. Through all this experiences Ike grew from a small boy that feared to a man that feared very little about living.