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Why is old Ben compared to Priam in William Faulkner's "The Bear" (from short...

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cheruka | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted October 18, 2007 at 12:17 PM via web

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Why is old Ben compared to Priam in William Faulkner's "The Bear" (from short story collection "Go Down Moses")?

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 18, 2007 at 12:32 PM (Answer #1)

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Priam was the king of Troy during the Trojan War.  This war was the last for Troy, as the city fell and was destroyed.  In the war, Troy - and its leader - were trying to "hold out" against the Greek army.  Similarly, Old Ben represents the last hold of nature on encroaching civilization.  Ben's death is symbolic of the death of nature.  Nature, like Priam, is a king of old trying to survive in a changing world, but ultimately failing.

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