Boon should have nursed the dogs” (The Bear, 215). Irving Howe points comments of Sams role as a mentor as well as his place as the priest in the ceremony: “the boys mentor, in the hunt and the acknowledged priest of the ceremony that could be held only in the forest” (William Faulkner: A Critical Study, 93).
The symbolism of the characters and the events in Faulkners short novel is closely related to every kind of ritual passage, starting with the coming of age ad finishing with the death and burial.
Faulkner seems to be looking for a path to redemption of all the faults the southern American people have inherited from their ancestors, including that of coming to terms with the a past of humiliating their fellow humans and treating them worse than animals, among others.
Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a thousand Faces. Princeton University Press. 1973
Hoffman, Daniel. William Faulkner, The Bear, landmarks of American Writing. Voice of America Forum Lecturers. U.S. Information Service. 1970
Howe, Irving. William Faulkner: A Critical Study. Random House Inc..