The Bear Essay

After returning to the farm near Jefferson, to the old McCaslin plantation, Isaac starts living there. Time passes away and he reaches his age of twenty one. Now, this is an age when he has to get control over the plantation that he legally owns and is bestowed to him by inheritance.  But he renounces the property and decides to hand it over to his cousin McCaslin Edmonds. For Isaac, McCaslin has a status of his father as he paid the responsibilities of Isaac’s father in raising him (Faulkner, 1942).

There is a lengthy debate and conversation between Isaac and McCaslin in which Isaac states his beliefs that he cannot own the property. He says that the curse of God’s Earth is human’s strive to get its ownership. According to Isaac this curse has resulted in slavery and destructive outcomes in the South. Though, McCaslin also puts many arguments, but Isaac recalls the old ledger books of Uncle Buck and Uncle Buddy and sets together the different accounts of the plantations slaves. In his debate with McCaslin Edmonds, Isaac mentions the evil consequences of ownership from Bible stories to European history to the beginning of slavery and the ruin of the South during the Civil War, and he finally refuses to own the inheritance (Faulkner, 1942).

So, when Isaac rejects his birthright, he also rejects even the concept that the ownership is his birthright. There are two main reasons behind refusing the inheritance of the plantation; first one is his experiences in the wilderness and second is his thinking about the evil that will result by having ownership. By refusing the birthright of Carothers McCaslin, Isaac accepts the patrimony of nature (Faulkner, 1942).

Faulkner, W. (1942). The Bear. Go Down, Moses. Vintage: US.