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History of Wolves
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Is the trial the first time Linda realizes what being a Christian Scientist means? Did she think that Leo was totally responsible up until this point? Why does she tell the court that Patra "did nothing" for her son?

Created: 11/18/17

Replies: 8

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

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Is the trial the first time Linda realizes what being a Christian Scientist means? Did she think that Leo was totally responsible up until this point? Why does she tell the court that Patra "did nothing" for her son?

During a break in the court case, Linda approaches Patra, hoping they are on the same side. Instead, Patra in effect accuses her of contributing to Paul's illness by seeing him as ill. Patra says "You saw him. As sick." (p. 234) Is this the first time Linda realizes what being a Christian Scientist means? Did she think that Leo was totally responsible up until this point? Why does Linda decide to tell the judge and jury that Patra "did nothing" for her son after outlining in her head all the ways in which Paul was adored?


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

Join Date: 03/13/12

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RE: Is the trial the first time Linda realizes what being a Christian Scientist means? Did she think that Leo was totally responsible up until this point? Why does she tell the court that Patra "did nothing" for her son?

First, I do think we should point out that the adults in this book are all extreme versions of every set of beliefs. Patra and her husband did not even seem to be caring for their child's basic comfort at time; no caring parent of ANY faith does that. The teachers with whom Linda deals are not normal. Linda's parents are far from being well adjusted. Is Linda aware of what a normal life is like? I am not sure that Linda was doing a lot of evaluating of responsible actions; Linda has not experienced true responsibility. Most of the time Linda just seemed to be existing hand-to-mouth.


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

Join Date: 10/15/14

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RE: Is the trial the first time Linda realizes what being a Christian Scientist means? Did she think that Leo was totally responsible up until this point? Why does she tell the court that Patra "did nothing" for her son?

I had the sense that the trial was the first time Linda had any sense at all of what was really going on - that the Christian Scientist beliefs were the motivation or lack of it for Paul's care. I also had the sense that she felt, as I did, that Patra was afraid of Leo, or dominated by him to a greater degree, and thus, Linda did, at least until the trial, largely blame Leo. At the trial, when she sees that Patra is firmly connected to and committed to Leo, she feels abandoned in a sense. And then she turns on Patra by making this statement. I don't know - just as this question is a hard one to contemplate and thus has not been answered by many yet - I think that this book is really a tough one to sort through. Much of it seems obvious - at least at the outset - but as the plot become denser and denser, the forest seems to get darker and darker, reflecting the characters and relationships involved, and answers grow murkier as well. I confess, I don't really understand this young woman, and I am looking to other readers to help me out.


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

Join Date: 06/13/11

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RE: Is the trial the first time Linda realizes what being a Christian Scientist means? Did she think that Leo was totally responsible up until this point? Why does she tell the court that Patra "did nothing" for her son?

Leo is very controlling and Patra just goes along with him. Maybe at the trial, Linda does realize what being a Christian Scientist. Who knows? Linda has not had good role models in her life. As I have said in other answers to the discussion questions, I didn't like this book. It was a waste of my reading time. I continued because I kept hoping it would get better. It didn't.
It is very interesting to read the responses from other readers.


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

Join Date: 11/20/17

Posts: 18

RE: Is the trial the first time Linda realizes what being a Christian Scientist means? Did she think that Leo was totally responsible up until this point? Why does she tell the court that Patra "did nothing" for her son?

Linda, an avid reader, read some of Leo's manuscript when she found it on the table, but I don't think she understood Christian Science until the trial. I think she felt that Leo was mostly, if not entirely, responsible for Paul's death. She craved Patra's attention and affection to the point that she was hoping for a nod or wave or some form of acknowledgement from Patra in the courtroom. Instead Patra attacked her verbally and blame her for her son's death. An angry Linda retaliated in court by saying that Patra did nothing for her child.


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

Join Date: 10/14/11

Posts: 111

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RE: Is the trial the first time Linda realizes what being a Christian Scientist means? Did she think that Leo was totally responsible up until this point? Why does she tell the court that Patra "did nothing" for her son?

By the time I got to the trial I did not care. It was an effort to complete this book. Now as I reflect on this story I find it difficult to excuse Linda - yes, she was an orphan in a sense but she WAS 15 years old. She said over & over how unnatural Paul looked, how he was practically unconscious in the car. She went to town, she did not accomplish anything; it was like she was in a dream sleepwalking throughout most of the story. Wolves are sharp, keen, wary. Nothing in Linda was this way. I'm sure she did not know what a Christian Scientist was but she knew what sickness was. No, Leo was not totally responsible - Patra shares almost equal burden & Linda, rightfully so, has reason to question her complicity.


Posted Dec. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

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RE: Is the trial the first time Linda realizes what being a Christian Scientist means? Did she think that Leo was totally responsible up until this point? Why does she tell the court that Patra "did nothing" for her son?

I believe that the trial was the first time Linda heard of Christian Scientists. She never understood them and Leo and Patra were not good examples of what Christian Scientists are. The characterization of Leo and Patra was very poor and very unfair to any CS. She did feel that Leo was responsible because of the ways Patra changed when Leo was around. Linda never realized that when Leo was gone Patra just pushed Paul off on her so that she would not have to deal with him, or more clearly watch him die. In court Linda started to get a sense of what was happening and simply told the truth Patra did nothing.


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

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 28

RE: Is the trial the first time Linda realizes what being a Christian Scientist means? Did she think that Leo was totally responsible up until this point? Why does she tell the court that Patra "did nothing" for her son?

I do not think Linda had any idea that Paul was as sick as he was until he threw up in Duluth and events unfolded from there. She read Leo's work while Patra was sleeping, but I am not sure she connected it to what was going on in the house. I do not think she truly understood until she went to the church herself, if even then. It seemed she was aware of a connection between the two, but didn't quite put it all together.

Patra let Linda down. Linda loved watching the way Patra took care of Paul when Leo wasn't around. In the end, Patra proved just as unreliable as any other adult in her life by ignoring the well being of her child--something that Linda knew a lot about. At the same time, Patra and Paul were alone for a long time before Leo arrived. Petra had a vehicle. At any time she could have taken her son to a doctor and Leo never would have known. Yet, she did nothing.


Posted Dec. 21, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Silly Lotus

Join Date: 10/07/15

Posts: 13

RE: Is the trial the first time Linda realizes what being a Christian Scientist means? Did she think that Leo was totally responsible up until this point? Why does she tell the court that Patra "did nothing" for her son?

I don't think the trial was the first time that she connected Christian Scientist with the lack of medical intervention, I got the impression that she didn't care about the religious context, but only the motivation of the people involved. Interesting that in her family the father did not seem to be a dictatorial sort, but seemed to share with her mom in chores, etc. And yet Linda accepted the control that Leo exerted over Paul and Petra and accepted Petra's passive acceptance of the death of her child. Until the trial, at least, when she seemed to realize that Petra let Paul down in the most fundamentally unnatural way.


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