Why does Boon use a knife to kill Old Ben?
Boon represents modern man, destroying nature with violent brute strength. Although he is part Native American, he does not possess the nobility or wisdom of his counterpart, Sam Fathers. He is indicative of a progressing society, and his attack of bear shows the selfish and destructive nature of that society in its violence. This strips the scene of its romanticism that is intended in many hunting scenes, portraying it as a rite of passage for young man into adulthood. Faulkner's purpose is represent the annihilation of nature.