Why does Sam die along with Old Ben and Lion?

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sam represents two things - a man who is respects nature and his place in it and a man who is limited by his place in society.  The world he lives in has restricted him.  Old Ben and Lion, both representative of nature, are also restricted by the world they live in.  Ben is wounded by a trap and has a lame foot; Lion is a mongrel dog who has grown up wild, rather than as a loved pet.  This story explores the destruction of nature at the hands of a progressive society.  Thus, all three symbols must die to support that theme.