Although several versions of "The Bear" exist, the one most commonly read comes from William Faulkner's 1942 novel, Go Down, Moses. Isaac (Ike) McCaslin, the young hero of "The Bear," remains a central figure throughout the novel as well. The story of a young man's development against a background of vanishing wilderness was well received by readers and critics alike. Today it appears in many anthologies. Faulkner did not add the long fourth section of the story until it appeared in Go Down, Moses, and he argued that its primary role was to connect the story to the rest of the novel. If read alone, the fourth section of "The Bear" should be omitted. Yet the fourth section puts into context the relationships and events that contributed to young Ike's upbringing in the woods. It is learned that Major deSpain and Colonel Compson received their commissions in the Civil War, an historical event of resounding importance. In addition, Ike's decisions in the fourth section are primarily due to the lessons he has learned in the wilderness. Thus the fourth section shows how he translates the morality of the woods into social responsibility. Whether read alone or as part of the longer novel in which it eventually appeared, "The Bear" provides a unique glimpse into the Mississippi region where Faulkner, himself an avid hunter, was born and raised. As Ike McCaslin learns about his family's past, Faulkner portrays a varied cast of characters in a tale about the wilderness destroyed by human greed, and a man who refuses to further this destructive trend.