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Word Count: 455
Flight by John Steinbeck and The Bear by William Faulkner were both stories which dealt with the journey from boyhood to manhood They were alike in many ways a particularly interesting way was that in both stories the journey to becoming a man was assisted by others but ultimately it fell on the lone boy becoming a man on his own The two boys in the story became men but in two very different ways In Flight Pepe is forced to make the transition to manhood as a result of his killing a man He has to face up to the consequences of his actions and he becomes a man by facing up to his actions In The Bear Faulkner portrays the journey to manhood as a less traumatic experience The boy in the story hears about the legend of the great Bear and is consumed by a boyhood longing to become a man by killing the Bear His journies through the woods and his proficiency as a woodsmen are metaphors Faulkner presents as an allegorical representation of a persons journey through l ife experiencing and mastering the different skills within the journey When the boy has finally become wise enough to confront the Bear he realizes that what the Bear stands for is far more important than his killing of the Bear ever could be He realizes that anyone could attack the Bear and kill it but in the restraint of the boyhood urge for glory and respect he finds that he has preserved these virtues in himself and the Bear as well Steinbeck and Faulkner both portray the defining point of manhood as the point at which a boy must decide between restraining the urge to grasp the respect associated with manhood or grasping for that respect at any cost Pepe grabbed for the respect when his manhood was challenged he killed a man and had to admit he was wrong
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