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History of Wolves


"Electrifying . . . as beautiful and as icy as the Minnesota woods where it's...
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Discuss History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund:
When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

Created: 11/18/17

Replies: 18

Posted Nov. 18, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1626

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When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?


Posted Nov. 26, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 92

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RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

After reading that section twice; it’s a mystery. Linda’s description and personna in the book made her an unlikable protagonist. It just didn’t matter why she did anything.


Posted Nov. 26, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
garyr

Join Date: 10/23/12

Posts: 19

RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

Having lived in northern Minnesota for a bit listening to the howl at night was quite haunting, maybe?


Posted Nov. 27, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 363

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RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

I think "wolves" was part of the author's symbolism and story line. All of the adults in this book seem to be wild, out of touch with society at best or preying on children as wolves. Linda's parents didn't provide basic necessities, teachers were strange and sketchy - whether Lily was actually raped or not


Posted Nov. 27, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbarae

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 9

RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

The wolves are clearly symbolic, perhaps of the wildness of Linda’s upbringing and also her desire to be part of a family group. Her own parents, especially her mother, seem alienated from society and really don’t provide her with any skills other than basic survival. Her mother seems a cold, disillusioned and bitter woman.


Posted Nov. 27, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annar

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 62

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RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

Who knows? Linda or Madeline,(what is her real name?) She is such an unusual character. Her parents don't seem to pay much attention to her. Perhaps she chooses Wolves to impress the teacher?


Posted Nov. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 223

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RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

It's unclear to me why she chose the topic, although she also raises it later in the book with Leo. She was interested enough in the topic to spend considerable time watching for wolves to observe (even though she admits spotting one is unlikely). I think she was looking for something that arose from within herslef rather than something suggested by a teacher -- but what a strange topic to pick!


Posted Nov. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paml

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 83

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RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

Why Linda chose the history of wolves is not clear or really explained. However there is much to this novel that is not clear, I believe by design. The whole novel reminds me of wolves. How Linda runs through the woods, how she just observes Mr. Grierson and Lily, how she stalks the Gardners, her relationship with the dogs dogs (her pack). Really her whole life style seems wolf like. I am sure it is symbolic and it seems to represent the whole novel for me.


Posted Nov. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 259

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RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

I think wolves fascinated her because of their wildness alongside of the fact they are very social creatures. I think she identified with them because people generally fear wolves, and it seems folks perceived her and her strange family as wild; she felt this way herself, recognizing how much her lifestyle set her apart from others.. But also she longed to be part of a more loving family and to have stronger connections with other people. So I think the wolves symbolize Linda and her experience of the world. That's why the novel is titled this way, not just Linda's research report!


Posted Nov. 29, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 167

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RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

There is a quote on page 124 that may explain this: "Wolves have nothing at all to do with human history." In her own way, Linda does not have much human history either. Her family life is vacuous and she is left to wander about the forest - even getting to school and what goes on at school is of little or no interest to her parents. Most family connection seems to be with her father and that has more to do with caring for the dogs, cleaning fish, fishing - all survival skills. There is little if any nurturing in her life and the rearing of wolves closely mimics this. As others have said, the title of the work seems to be symbolic and reflects Linda's upbringing and lifestyle - running free about the forest, largely fending for herself as means of survival.


Posted Nov. 29, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ashleighs

Join Date: 11/13/17

Posts: 14

RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

Linda comes from a different upbringing. She spends a lot of time alone, in the woods, with her dogs
I think she chose a topic fitting to her and her strengths. I found it interesting when she was disappointed when she didn't win first place for the project. The topic was fitting to her but didn't really apply to the assignment. It sort of further expressed her isolation from "normal" life and life's expectations or events.


Posted Dec. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
madelonw

Join Date: 11/20/17

Posts: 18

RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

The history of wolves may be symbolic of her life. She is a lone wolf without a pack to run with. Interestingly, the nature center is her favorite place in the world, she says, housing the diorama of the wolf. The report was doomed from the start. A topic accepted by another inappropriate adult in her life, Mr. Grierson. He asked her to enter the contest, but didn't know enough about the competition or care enough to tell her that her topic was not on point. She invested so much time and attention to win, but her chances were shot before she even started. Similar to her parents who brought her into the world, but left her to fend for herself in many basic ways. Growing up, the phrase "raised by wolves" was used to indicate children who didn't know how to adapt to traditional society. She seems to have been raised by wolves.


Posted Dec. 04, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marganna

Join Date: 10/14/11

Posts: 119

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RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

I have no idea. One could speculate forever & not know what was the author's intention. Some guesses make more sense than others (many stated in previous comments), but nothing in this book gave me a clue - I see this as a failure to underdeveloped this thread - the title of the book; some story about wolves - just enough so the reader has some connection to the main character- would have helped. My understanding of wolves is they live in pack with a family structure led by an alpha male. Is that Leo? Is the author saying the commune was like a wolf pack? Is Linda a "lone wolf"? What is a lone wolf? She belonged to several packs - home such as it was, school, Paul/Patra, the mechanic, woman she's living with, ...There were so many ways to enhance this novel without all the subtle but not developed story lines.


Posted Dec. 04, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
shannonl

Join Date: 12/04/17

Posts: 9

RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

I have no idea (it appears I am not alone). If the author gave us a clue earlier in the book, I missed it completely and did not care enough to go back and search for it....


Posted Dec. 05, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggya

Join Date: 06/03/15

Posts: 22

RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

Wolves are by nature shy and quite cautious around humans. Linda exhibits the same intrinsic nature herself. She lacks age appropriate social skills as demonstrated in this book.


Posted Dec. 08, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 312

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RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

She selected that topic because it is what she knew something (actually a great deal about). She seemed fascinated with them when she would go to the nature center. I also think she saw the dogs as her pack of wolves, a place where she belonged and was accepted. Linda was truly the saddest character I have come across in a long time. Think about the very strange gift she gave her boyfriend, a dog collar and lead for herself. Did she feel she now belonged to somebody? I wish the author had done so much more than just drop hints about some of the most important details in the book.


Posted Dec. 09, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joang

Join Date: 05/17/12

Posts: 39

RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

I too have no idea! It is definitely metaphorical. I struggled with that as well as the title. No thread if any. I do like many of the above comments related to wolves...the pack, alpha, belonging, shy, have nothing to do with human history. You all helped me with this question....


Posted Dec. 10, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiap

Join Date: 07/27/17

Posts: 32

RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

She admires the wolf for its ability to take care of itself. Also the wolf can be a loner. That is exactly what Linda is and does not want to be. She also feels no kindred spirit with humans. The history of an animal is much more compelling to her.


Posted Dec. 18, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 59

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RE: When Linda is asked to give a report for school, she chooses the history of wolves. Why do you think Linda chooses this particular topic?

Linda does not seem to put much effort into school. She goes, she sits, she leaves. She is ignored by peers, and seemingly, until Mr. Grierson, adults as well. Her history and her present is bound in nature. That is what is most important to her. And when she is finally asked to participate in something--anything, she uses it as a platform to discuss something that is meaningful to her. Up until this point in the book, her last deep friendship was when she was six years old and the commune dissolved. The way she saw and interacted with the world changed at this point. In lieu of meaningful human relationships, her interactions with nature and her dogs deepened. Perhaps there is a message in her quote "Wolves have nothing to do with humans, actually. If they can help it, they avoid them." Look what happens as Linda becomes more involved with humans: her teacher is arrested for child pornography, Lily disappears, and Leo and Patra are charged for withholding medical treatment from their son resulting in his death, and Linda loses one of the most important relationships she has ever had.


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