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The Exploration Of The Human Relationship With Nature In Never Cry Wolf

1400 words - 6 pages

Somewhere to the eastward a wolf howled; lightly, questioningly. I knew the voice, for I had heard it many times before. It was George, sounding the wasteland for an echo from the missing members of his family. But for me it was a voice which spoke of the lost world which was once ours before we chose the alien role; a world which I had glimpsed and almost entered…only to be excluded, at the end, by my own self. (Mowat 163)

These words are central to Farley Mowat’s idea that humans are able to join the world of nature that they were once a part of, but must ultimately return to the radically different world of humans. Firstly, man’s capability to adapt and then exclude themselves from nature is demonstrated in the affiliation of the protagonist with the wolves. Secondly, Ootek’s explanations of his knowledge and past experiences indicate that man is not able to fully adapt into nature as they would be alienated by their own feelings and reactions. Finally, the consequences of a man’s prolonged separation from nature is shown through the symbol of the Eskimos. Farley Mowat’s Never Cry Wolf suggests, through the relationship of the protagonist and the wolves, Ootek’s progression into nature, and the strange, unusual perceptions the symbol of Eskimos portrays towards man, that man has the ability to adapt and become a part of nature, but must eventually revert to the human world.

Throughout the novel, the ongoing relationship between Farley Mowat, whom is the protagonist, and the wolves demonstrate the way which the protagonist adapts himself into nature, only to exclude himself from it. Initially, the protagonist and the wolf are scared of one another. To illustrate, the protagonist and a wolf meet face to face, where they stare at each other in shock and then flee from each other in fear. This shows that the protagonist has yet to adapt to nature because the wolf sees the protagonist as a stranger and intruder to his home. Later on, the wolves ignore and take no notice of the protagonist, who decides to set up camp near their home. The wolf is on his way home from his daily hunt when he suddenly hears a loud noise made by the protagonist: “The wolf’s head came up and his eyes opened wide, but he did not stop or falter in his pace. One brief, sidelong glance was all he vouchsafed to me as he continued on his way” (Mowat 54). This quote demonstrates that the wolves see Mowat as a part of nature and their surrounding environment because they show none of the fear they used to have for him. However, the protagonist is shown to be inseparable from the civilized world of mankind. Namely, he visits the wolves’ den to gather information, but is startled when he finds the wolves inside: “If I had my rifle, I believe I might have reacted in brute fury and tried to kill both wolves” (Mowat 162). Therefore, this shows that his adaptation into nature was short-lived by his own rationalism because he is suggested, by his thoughts, to kill the very animal...

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