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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:
What is Linda's motivation behind writing to Mr. Grierson? Why does she care about this teacher? Is it surprising that he writes back, and what does his response reveal about both of them?

Created: 11/18/17

Replies: 6

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1480

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What is Linda's motivation behind writing to Mr. Grierson? Why does she care about this teacher? Is it surprising that he writes back, and what does his response reveal about both of them?

When Linda is living in Minneapolis, she decides to write Mr. Grierson a letter. "I think you're innocent," she writes. "I think you should hear that from someone." (p. 191) What is her motivation behind writing him? Why does Linda care about this teacher? Is it surprising that he writes back, and what does his response reveal about both of them?


Posted Dec. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

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RE: What is Linda's motivation behind writing to Mr. Grierson? Why does she care about this teacher? Is it surprising that he writes back, and what does his response reveal about both of them?

So Mr. Grierson is, in some sense anyway, found innocent of the charges. Is Linda's writing to him her way of relieving herself of Patra's accusation that Linda believed Paul was ill? She would like to be told she is innocent as well and knowing that feeling, does for Mr. Grierson what she would like to have done for herself?
His letter back, to me, had very different tone from hers - less personal and no connection really. Linda, who is still searching "out there" anywhere for guidance, direction, and now forgiveness, turns to Mr. Grierson, an adult who had once recognized her and selected her, out of all her classmates, to provide these for her. She has not learned yet that these must come from within to really matter. He, on the other hand, shows us his lack of character, by his reference in each letter of the amount written being dependent on space on each card. Again, perhaps I am not seeing the bigger picture. I would appreciate any enlightenment here.


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

Join Date: 09/05/11

Posts: 36

RE: What is Linda's motivation behind writing to Mr. Grierson? Why does she care about this teacher? Is it surprising that he writes back, and what does his response reveal about both of them?

Well, Susie, I think that you have figured out this situation very well. Once again, Linda turns to an unworthy adult because he recognized her for the contest. Linda turns to Petra because of the attention she receives from her. Neither is worthy of Linda’s devotion. She needs to believe in herself.


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

Join Date: 11/20/17

Posts: 18

RE: What is Linda's motivation behind writing to Mr. Grierson? Why does she care about this teacher? Is it surprising that he writes back, and what does his response reveal about both of them?

I think Linda is still seeking approval from Mr. Grierson. It bothers her that he went to jail based on Lily's lie. She wants him to know that she is in his corner. I am sad for her that he had such a big impact on Linda's life and that he doesn't seem to remember her. She needs to move on, if possible.


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

Join Date: 10/14/11

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RE: What is Linda's motivation behind writing to Mr. Grierson? Why does she care about this teacher? Is it surprising that he writes back, and what does his response reveal about both of them?

Linda is confused & searching for any approval. I found this a huge distraction from the story since it never had a sense of reality to me. Were these dream sequences, were they reality...I think the author wanted to put another story line into the book but it failed for me.


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

Join Date: 11/29/17

Posts: 8

RE: What is Linda's motivation behind writing to Mr. Grierson? Why does she care about this teacher? Is it surprising that he writes back, and what does his response reveal about both of them?

I agree with marganna. I found that re-introducing Mr Grierson was a distraction and added only confusion for the reader. His presence initially was useful, Linda was clinging to anyone who would accept her and he did accept her (or use her). He was also the avenue for introducing the lone wolf characterization of Linda which was central to the book. But he added nothing (in my mind) by re-appearing.


Posted Dec. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 293

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RE: What is Linda's motivation behind writing to Mr. Grierson? Why does she care about this teacher? Is it surprising that he writes back, and what does his response reveal about both of them?

I think Linda's motivation in writing to Mr. Grierson is to relieve her own guilt. She knew he was innocent, knew he was in prison for something he did not do. At the time she didn't know what to do, so she did nothing. Now again she is made to feel guilt for doing nothing. She did feel badly about Mr Grierson because he was once nice to her. I am sure his letter is very dry and bland because he is still on the list of child abusers and he does admit that he had certain thoughts about Lily. It is like President Carter admitting he lusted in his heart. A whole nation was in a turmoil as to what did he mean. I agree with Barbf, there was enough material here for two books, one on teacher-child abuse and one on Christian Science. After all, how much did we know about the backgrounds of Leo and Petra.


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