Pity the Bear in Judith Minty's story, Killing the Bear

Pity the Bear in Judith Minty's story, Killing the Bear

Length: 846 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Pity the Bear in Judith Minty's story, Killing the Bear 


Judith Minty's story, "Killing the Bear," is a rather chilling tale about a woman who shoots a bear to death. The story is not merely a simple account of the incident however. It is full of stories and facts about bears, which affect how the reader reacts to the story. In the beginning, the reader expects the bear to be portrayed as a cold-blooded monster who must be killed for the safety of the primary character however this expectation is foiled throughout the story and the reader sees the bear in a very different light. Due to the stories and facts given about bears throughout the story, the reader comes to pity the bear, but most will still acknowledge the necessity of killing him.

The beginning of the story seems very quiet and peaceful. It sets up a scene many people would be familiar with. Even the story about the dog is one most people who have ever owned a house pet would instantly recognize. The woman does seem very vulnerable, however. She is outside in a hammock and the dog seems very little help since "she ended up more his protector than the other way around" (2). The second section sets up frightening images of animals, but they are all in the zoo, so they pose no threat. Yet, this still sustains the reader's original expectation of the bear being a threatening animal. Of all the zoo animals described, the bear seems the most harmless, yet she is still afraid of it. The reader has not been shown any danger yet, but there is still a sense of something about to happen. The only bear we have seen is a "bundle of clothes by [a] dead tree" (5) in a cage at the zoo.

The third section of the story returns the reader to the calm security, but then quickly sends the tone of the story into a frenzy. These constant tone changes show the reader how strong and resourceful the woman is, but it also shows us how she can be thrown into a panic easily. We come to have little confidence in the main character's ability to react well if a dangerous situation arises.

Throughout the story, "Killing the Bear," the reader is given a number of side notes about bears and the woman's experience with them.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Pity the Bear in Judith Minty's story, Killing the Bear." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Nov 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=6800>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Dealing with Loss in Killing the Bear Essay

- Dealing with Loss in Killing the Bear Often things that we experience as children have lasting affects on us that creep up when we least expect them. In Judith Minty's story "Killing the Bear", a woman finds herself in just such a situation. She finally deals with something that happened to her as a young child that she probably never even realized was bothering her. In this story the central character painfully comes to grips with a major loss of security from her childhood. Throughout "Killing the Bear" the author flips back and forth from the story at hand and seemingly only loosely related anecdotes about the main character and bears....   [tags: Minty Killing the Bear Essays]

Research Papers
731 words (2.1 pages)

`` Undoing Gender `` By Judith Butler Essay

- When it comes to the idea of sex and gender, and how with the age of modern medicine, people around the world may change their own lives for the better as they change their sex to the gender they associate with. Finally feeling the freedom of being in the body that they wished for, yet this a decision that should be taken by the participating, rather than the doctor making the procedure. Judith Butler’s writing, “Undoing Gender”, there is a story of a person whom goes through their life trying to figure out what they have become....   [tags: Gender, Female, Judith Butler, Male]

Research Papers
1141 words (3.3 pages)

The Poetry of Judith Wright Essay

- The Poetry of Judith Wright Abstract This report discusses the influences of Australia as well as the universal impact on the poetry of Judith Wright. It contains an evaluation of both the techniques and the "plot" behind the poems "Remittance Man, "South of My Days" and "Eve to her Daughters" as well as a comparison between the three poems. Australia, as Wright¡¦s homeland, has had a significant effect on the content of her poems but references to English scenes are also consistent as well as general references to the universal world....   [tags: Judith Wright Poems compare Contrast Essays]

Research Papers
1159 words (3.3 pages)

A Feminist Methodology By Judith Baxter Essay

- Positioning Gender in Discourse: A Feminist Methodology by Judith Baxter This book by Judith Baxter makes a valuable contribution to the debate surrounding theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of gender and language in the newly emerging field of feminist post-structural discourse analysis (FDPA). She uses her book both to show that FDPA has both “theoretical virtues as well as fundamental, practical value for empirical research” (Baxter, 1). Baxter, in particular wants to explore the way FDPA analyzes the ways in which “speakers negotiate their identities, relationships, and positions in their world according to the ways in which they are located by competing yet interwov...   [tags: Feminism, Gender, Judith Butler, Gender studies]

Research Papers
735 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on The Ironic Title of Judith Guest's Ordinary People

- The Ironic Title of Ordinary People The significance of the title "Ordinary People" is that it is ironic because there are not ordinary people in the book. It does not correspond with the novel itself. As defined in Webster's Dictionary, ordinary means usual, common, or normal. To most people, this is what they think they are. However, in the book being unordinary is common for most of the characters. The author of this book, Judith Guest, probably titled this book "Ordinary People" to make readers ask themselves, "What is ordinary....   [tags: Judith Guest Ordinary People Essays]

Free Essays
656 words (1.9 pages)

Tis Pity She's A Whore by John Ford Essay

- "Tis Pity She's A Whore" by John Ford In this play it would be impossible to accurately assess this idea commenting on Annabella and Giovanni as a single entity. They are extremely different characters with their only common ground being the love they have for each other, and even this is expressed in distinctly different ways with subsequently different consequences. These consequences build up to the conclusion referred to in the question, and so it would also prove hard to answer it directly without having previously discussed what has come before and created such conclusion....   [tags: John Ford Tis Pity Whore Essays]

Research Papers
2352 words (6.7 pages)

An Analysis of Judith Wright's Woman To Man Essay

- An Analysis of Woman To Man   The form of this text is a poem. The visual appearance of the text on the page indicates to us that it is a poem: it is positioned in the center of the page and it is made up of uniform sections, or stanzas. The form is more constrained than that of a novel, which runs freely across the page from left to right. The text also utilizes formal poetic features, such as: multiple stanzas containing equal numbers of lines; line breaks between stanzas; and a regular number of beats per line....   [tags: Judith Wright Woman To Man Essays]

Research Papers
1568 words (4.5 pages)

Analysis of Woman to Man by Judith Wright Essay

- Analysis of Woman to Man by Judith Wright   I was slightly confused when I read this poem at first, but it became apparent from the rich metaphors, that it was about the sexual relation between the woman and man. It is also about conception - or rather the potential of creating a child from this sexual act - told from the woman's point of view. Judith Wright was very bold in writing such a poem since it was published in 1949, when such issues weren't discussed in the public, but as a well-regarded poet, she had achieved a good reputation for expressing herself, and therefore could write a subjective poem about this issue....   [tags: Judith Wright Woman To Man Essays]

Research Papers
1011 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Healing in Judith Guest's Ordinary People

- The Question of Healing in Ordinary People How do you define healing. In the dictionary it says that to be healed you are cured, resolved, free from worry. But is that what everyone else thinks of healed as. In the novel Ordinary People, written by Judith Guest, Conrad Jarret goes from being a young boy to an adult within a year. He did not know what he was like himself, in the beginning of the story, then there were things that made him grow, and lastly did he heal. At first Conrad did not know who he was or what his purpose was, when he came home form the hospital....   [tags: Judith Guest Ordinary People Essays]

Free Essays
461 words (1.3 pages)

Mexican Lives by Judith Adler Hellman Essay

- Mexican Lives by Judith Adler Hellman      The author of Mexican Lives, Judith Adler Hellman, grapples with the United States’ economic relationship with their neighbors to the south, Mexico. It also considers, through many interviews, the affairs of one nation. It is a work held to high esteem by many critics, who view this work as an essential part in truly understanding and capturing Mexico’s history. In Mexican Lives, Hellman presents us with a cast from all walks of life. This enables a reader to get more than one perspective, which tends to be bias....   [tags: Mexican Lives Judith Adler Hellman Essays]

Research Papers
1248 words (3.6 pages)

Related Searches

The most interesting of the woman's experiences with bears is the story about her stuffed bear. Anyone who had a toy that they carried around all the time as a child will be able to relate to her attachment to her toy bear. These readers will be able to understand how devastating the loss of such a toy would be to a child. This story of the stuffed bear also gives the reader some compassion for bears. The author then gives descriptions of some beliefs about bears from various cultures. All of these beliefs involve somehow humanizing bears, which makes the reader sympathize even more with bears. We see them as very human creatures with human needs. This becomes particularly evident when we read about a man who brings a lost bear cub home "to his wife who suckled it" (19). Immediately following these soft, personified images of bears, we are given a series of very harsh, violent images of bears. The author describes bears as cold-blooded killers, which removes some of the compassion for bears. At this point in the story, what we are supposed to feel for the bears seems rather contradictory. Why does she make us feel compassion for cold-blooded killers?

As the story of the woman continues, the tone is again changed. The calm remains, but now it is a quiet fear. As the woman buys the rifle, the salesman tells her "she could get a man with it at twenty yards" (26). She doesn't intend to shoot a man however; she intends to shoot a bear. This again turns the bear into a man. When the bear physically appears in the story again, he is screaming. The verb 'to scream' conveys more of a human feeling than an animal one. The human images continue through the death of the bear. Because of these images, the reader comes to feel sorry for the bear. Even in death, he 'huddles' like a frightened child. The reader's sympathies are firmly with the bear. The author changes abruptly in the last sentence. The bear suddenly becomes a bear again as the author says, "She will dig him up to take the claws" (42).

This story does not frustrate the reader's expectations, but it changes them as the story moves along. The reader's sympathies change from centering on the woman to centering on the bear. The bear is personified throughout the story, and even referred to as 'he' rather than 'it'. This causes the reader to feel sorry for the bear in the end, but even the most sympathetic readers would most likely acknowledge that they would have done the same thing in killing the bear.

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com