Cultural Primitivism in William Faulkner's "The Bear" Essay

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Cultural Primitivism in William Faulkner's "The Bear"
Author(s): Kenneth LaBudde
Source: American Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 4 (Winter, 1950), pp. 322-328
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
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Accessed: 11/11/2013 07:10
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When Ike comes close to him,Old Ben takes on the stance of a human being.When Ike rescuedthe ratter,Old Ben "loomed and toweredover himlike a thunderclap." the accountof the closing
in on the bear we are told that "it caught the dog in both arms, almostloverlike, and theyboth went down." A momentlater after
Boon jumped astrideOld Ben "the bear surgederect,raisingwith the man and dog too,and turnedand stillcarrying man and the the dog it took two or threesteps towardthe woods on its hind feetas a man wouldhave walked
people observedthe sagaciousqualities,the omnivorous habits,and the wide range of facial and bodilyexpression emoof tional behaviorin the bear. They were struckby seeing the bear rise on his hind legs and sit up against a tree just as if he were a man. The fact that a bear, unlikeotheranimals,walks on the sole of his foot with the heel touchingthe groundand leaves a footprintof heel,toe, and arch like that of a human being had a great impacton the mind of primitive man. Perhaps these unique qualities help explain the importance
Old Ben had forFaulkner's char'Bear Ceremonialismin the Northern Hemisphere (Philadelphia, 1926) 184. Unless

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