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History of Wolves


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Discuss History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund:
"What's the difference between what you believe and what you do?"

Created: 11/18/17

Replies: 11

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1584

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"What's the difference between what you believe and what you do?"

"What's the difference between what you believe and what you do?" (p. 242) Linda thinks this to herself after testifying at the trial, and says she should've asked Patra. There are a lot of situations this question could apply to in the book. Did Patra know that Paul was sick? Did she understand that not taking him to a doctor would result in his death? Did she choose her husband over her son? Why might she have chosen a simpler path in the short term over the long-term safety of her child? 


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

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 350

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RE: "What's the difference between what you believe and what you do?"

This question seemed almost out of character for Linda. Thousands of people die every year who are using medicine, and Linda's own background had not been one with routine medical check-ups, so in some ways I felt that Linda would not have been analyzing things to this extent. This was a point, for me, at which the author's opinion came through rather than a character's inner thoughts. On a different note: this would be a great question for a lot of our politicians right now.


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

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 162

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RE: "What's the difference between what you believe and what you do?"

Is it right or fair to suggest that this question determines one's honesty? To act in a manner not in agreement with your faith some would say is hypocritical. While others may argue that a personal belief cannot be applied to action for others - only oneself. I understand rebeccar's point above, but at what point in her life is Linda asking this question? I am not certain, but the book in its entirety is a flashback, is it not, and in looking back, Linda is now older, maybe 37. Perhaps she is now allowing herself to be more reflective and more honest with herself. If so, the answer for her, at this point in her life, may bekey to how she will live with this from this point on. Can someone help me out here. I read this entire story as Linda still looking for answers - looking back, reliving the events, still trying to work it out in her own mind. Help!


Posted Nov. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanr

Join Date: 04/25/12

Posts: 39

RE: "What's the difference between what you believe and what you do?"

The question at page 242 is "What's the difference between what you WANT TO believe and what you do?" That is a slightly different query. Patra wants to believe desperately in the tenets of Christian Science, and, in doing so, she is able to ignore the seriously ill condition of Paul. Linda, too, wants to believe that Patra and Leo are doing the right thing and even though she has increasing doubts, she too, is able to ignore all the desperate signs. Another example: early in the book, we are told that Linda's mom baptized Linda in a basin when she was very young and said "I wished I believed in this shit". So it seems that going through the motions of what is consistent with what you want to belief and what you do comes down to the same thing. Later, on the same page, Linda asks, "What's the difference between what you think and what you end up doing?" For Mr. Grierson, he thought about doing the things that Lily falsely accused him of and in his eyes, it made him no less guilty than if he had done them.


Posted Nov. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judyg

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 16

RE: "What's the difference between what you believe and what you do?"

This is a challenging question, not only for Linda but also for readers. How often does the average person act on what they believe is the right thing to do, religious beliefs or not? Linda was at age 15 engaged in highly complex thought about all manner of things going on in her life and not just about Paul. It appeared that her thought process was deep and frequently on her mind, making it difficult to focus intensely on making a life-saving decision about Paul when the adults in her life were not modeling behavior that would have helped to guide her in any way. I think at least some readers will agree that they can remember a time or times in their life when their own beliefs were strong, yet something contextually held them back from acting on those beliefs. Anyone care to expand on this?


Posted Dec. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paml

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 83

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RE: "What's the difference between what you believe and what you do?"

This statement made me think of the beliefs of Christian Science. Illness is in your mind, an illusion. So it is only prayer that is needed. So if you are a believer you only pray. Patra struggles with this and on several occasions she is going to go against what she thinks she is suppose to believe to save Paul. I think any mother would struggle with any religion that says you cannot intervene to save your child. Linda allows Leo to convince her they are doing the right thing. How do you live with yourself? Can't imagine!


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

Join Date: 12/03/17

Posts: 1

RE: "What's the difference between what you believe and what you do?"

Internal versus external. Beliefs are internal and can cause one to act. What you do is the action, possible a recourse of your beliefs. But they aren't always necessarily linked to one another. Sometimes people act without thinking or basing their actions on their beliefs, kind of a spur of the moment action. Others think about what they will say or do before doing so, maybe first deciding what possible outcomes could be.


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

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 148

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RE: "What's the difference between what you believe and what you do?"

What we 'want to believe' and what we 'do believe' can be a life-long struggle. Wanting to believe something is wishing, seeking, searching. What we do believe is the result of that experience.


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: "What's the difference between what you believe and what you do?"

2 questions on page 242:
What's the difference between what you want to believe and what you do?
What's the difference between what you think and what you end up doing?
1st question: there is a difference from the question you are asking: what is the difference between what you believe & what you do. From your question you have a belief & you act accordingly regardless of consequences. The next question "want to belief" - indicates your belief is like the word "try" - you either do something or you do not - you cannot "try". I guess the last one "what you think" is the basis for it all. Your thoughts form your beliefs - I will rank them: what do I think, what do I want to believe, what do I believe. I can act differently to each one.


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

Join Date: 11/29/17

Posts: 18

RE: "What's the difference between what you believe and what you do?"

I feel that you find out the difference when faced with life's most difficult choices, such as when faced with the death of a family member for example. We mentally construct tidy little philosophies for our daily sense of psycho- cohesion and peace of mind. But these constructs can be melt down significantly when we are face to face with a crisis. What we think and what we suddenly find ourself doing in a crisis can be very different. I think Linda did not actually experience this tension as she did not come to her crisis (of the death) with any pre-conceived stability or sense of self - she was more of an observer. I did not see that she struggled with this concept.


Posted Dec. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 229

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RE: "What's the difference between what you believe and what you do?"

Whether you believe it (or want to believe it), you'll find out how solid that belief is when you are faced with a crisis. I agree with barbf that conscious belief, or a belief we are aware of wanting to be true, is a mental construct. What we truly believe is revealed by our actions. (And not only in a crisis...) It's natural being human not always to act in a way that expresses what we consciously choose to believe... The failure to notice when this happens and admit it, that's what hypocrisy means to me.

I think Linda was struggling to figure out what she believed, who she was... As a teen, and then later as an adult. We all do this, but her upbringing and this experience posed a special challenge.


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

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 311

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RE: "What's the difference between what you believe and what you do?"

What you do is generally the outcome of what you believe. At a certain age we develop a conscience and we follow certain beliefs, knowing the consequences of our action. In this novel it is important to know how old was Linda when she was pondering this question. I doubt that it was at the time that Paul died. Linda herself was still a child and did not reach the age or have the parental background to even imagine what she should have or might have done. It is Patra who should be pondering all these questions. I don't feel she so strongly wants to follow her religious tenets as she wants to believe what her husband wants her to believe. Leo was a mess, as Paul was dying because Patra sat with her cell phone in her hand. He wasn't sure that her belief was strong enough to keep her from reacting. She wasn't sure herself.
I agree with Margana, there is an order to our beliefs but if we are looking back at Linda at age 13/14, I doubt she was mature enough to be capable of this logic.


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