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A Comparative Essay On "Never Cry Wolf" By Farley Mowat

1371 words - 5 pages

For my book report, I have chosen the novel Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat. In this report I will give a brief summary of the novel as well as why I have chosen it for my report. Finally, I will give my reactions to the novel with regards to its analysis of the place of human beings in nature, whether the destiny of humans and nature is intertwined, and how nature is regarded by the different religious and political philosophies demonstrated in the novel.Never Cry Wolf is based upon the true story of the author's experiences during two years spent as a biologist studying a family of wolves in northern Canada during the mid nineteen fifties. When Mowat is sent on his expedition his goal is to bring back proof of the wolves decimating effect on the northern herds of Caribou. After arriving at the remote location, he finds a group of wolves and begins his research. He then discovers the differing peculiarities of the wolves and finds that they are more than the savage and merciless hunters that he had previously believed them to be. He discovers that they are in fact a very efficient and resourceful and have their own distinctive culture. For example he discovers that they in fact have a symbiotic relationship with the caribou in that they keep the caribou population strong by hunting down only the sick and weaker members of the herd. This leads to a situation where the strongest caribou survive and thus the herd is made stronger. As well they have their own social orders that ensure peaceful co-existence with one another instead of being reduced to fighting amongst themselves. Before Mowat's excursion conventional wisdom thought that that was the only interraction that the wolves were capable of. In his group he finds a monogamous pair who are raising their litter with assistance from another male wolf who Mowat terms to be an 'uncle'. His previous assumptions which portrayed the wolves as cold heated killers who lived only for the hunt, is challenged as he observes these animals play and interact within their environment his previous assumptions about the role that these animals play in nature. His attitude metamorphosis' from one of disdain and contempt to one of genuine respect and admiration.I chose this novel for study instead of Siddhartha because I felt that this novel speaks more directly to me. I felt this way firstly, because of the location of the novel, northern Canada, in which I traveled for a summer, and secondly because I enjoy spending time in the outdoors. This meant that I could more easily identify the setting and thus relate better to the author's feelings and perceptions. Meanwhile, Siddhartha was set in India and in my mind was dated and unreal humankind (society) seems today to have more of a desire and a need to get back to nature and the simple life. The spirit of peace that emanates from Mowat's book allows one to focus on what is possible when one has time to reflect In this I mean that Never Cry Wolf seemed to hold a...

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