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West with Giraffes


A rousing novel inspired by the incredible true story of two giraffes who won ...
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How do you think Woody's childhood shaped him into the person he became?

Created: 04/20/23

Replies: 11

Posted Apr. 20, 2023 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3442

How do you think Woody's childhood shaped him into the person he became?

Woody went through a lot of injustices early in his life, how do you think his childhood shaped him into the person he became?


Posted Apr. 20, 2023 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jjbryant

Join Date: 04/12/23

Posts: 4

RE: How do you think Woody's ...

His father's lack of compassion for Woody and animals first gave Woody an excuse for his behavior, but as the story progressed, Woody began to see how his father's treatment of both him and his mother and sister was deeply flawed. However, I do think he was also able to give his father some of his own compassion as a man who had to deal with horrible conditions and the deaths of his wife and child.


Posted Apr. 20, 2023 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gloriam

Join Date: 03/19/23

Posts: 59

RE: How do you think Woody's ...

I feel the book is Woody's coming of age narrative. Though I did not agree with all of the choices he makes, I can certainly empathize with the way his childhood influenced his decisions. Growing up dirt (literally!) poor and consumed with basic survival, food and clothes and shelter, would shape the path one takes. It is difficult to be strong and moral and proper when you are starving. From birth and through childhood, our family is our biggest influence and his was definitely not ideal, especially his father.


Posted Apr. 20, 2023 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elizaj

Join Date: 03/02/23

Posts: 8

RE: How do you think Woody's ...

For most of the story, you figure Woodys life was bad just by nature of depression circumstances, no real explanation is needed to the reader, we instantly accept hard times = a morally destitute young man. As the story continues, Woody alludes to feelings of guilt as well as a tremendous fear of being punished (for something) by the law. I agree with jjbryant in that he initially had an excuse for his behavior because he had a terrible role model. A cruel and heartless father was all Woody had as they lived through the most desperate of circumstances (in the depression/ dust bowl.)His father’s cruelty most definitely shaped him and when the reader is taken back to his home town and relives his past, I kinda felt happy that after that horror, Woody was still a sensitive enough person to connect with the giraffes and the other characters.
Readers learn that an animal connection was the only happy thing from his childhood and it was brutally taken from him.


Posted Apr. 21, 2023 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carriem

Join Date: 10/19/20

Posts: 263

RE: How do you think Woody's ...

Woody's childhood was very difficult both economically because he grew-up during the Great Depression of the 1930's plus a father lack of compassion and being what would be considered abusive today toward the entire family and Woody had to struggle to see the good in people for the first part of the book. But the Old Man and others made Woody see the good in people and become more comfortable and positive of other people and himself. In sum, as others have said this is a coming of age story and done so with insight and feeling.


Posted Apr. 23, 2023 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Arlene

Join Date: 04/23/23

Posts: 10

RE: How do you think Woody's ...

without a caring family situation, and no good role model, Woody began to feel what it was like to care for something, and have someone care for him. It was an amazing turn around to see what he was able to accomplish. Given a chance, it is amazing to see what individuals can accomplish in life.


Posted Apr. 23, 2023 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckys

Join Date: 08/12/16

Posts: 259

RE: How do you think Woody's ...

Woody had a rough depression life when he was growing up, but even worse was the way his father treated him and spoke to him . He carried so much guilt for what happened with his father, but the understanding of the Old Man helped him forgive himself and also shaped his feelings for the giraffes and animals in general. Having responsibility and trust given to him, changed the whole outcome of his life. The way we are treated by others, certainly shapes the way we perceive the world!


Posted Apr. 23, 2023 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 424

RE: How do you think Woody's ...

Woody's childhood added to his insecurities. It was the Old Man and the military that made Woody into a man and turned his life around. You need to be taught confidence and independence and his childhood was teaching him just the opposite.


Posted Apr. 24, 2023 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melissa c.

Join Date: 01/10/21

Posts: 127

RE: How do you think Woody's ...

I agree with everyone else's comments above. And Woody found a new family with the Old Man, Red and the giraffes. Even though there were many difficulties, trials and tribulations, Woody learned how to love, care and appreciate others, humans and animals alike.


Posted May. 08, 2023 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BuffaloGirl

Join Date: 01/13/18

Posts: 229

RE: How do you think Woody's ...

As I said in another post, I believe Woody's childhood caused him to shut down. Losing a loving parent at a vulnerable age is extremely difficult and then having the remaining parent be a cruel, unloving individual deeply affects a child. That Woody didn't act out with greater violence than he did says a lot about his overall character. I think he was sad for life. Reading about his adulthood made me think he probably suffered from depression during a time when nothing was done for it other than telling the individual suffering to snap out of it. I was very sad for the adult Woody.


Posted May. 11, 2023 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 499

RE: How do you think Woody's ...

We are all somehow shaped by what we see and learn in our childhood. Woody lived through some of the worst times in American history, the Great Depression and one of the worst Dust Storm on record. Making it worse, his father was beyond cruel. Woody learned not to trust anyone, not even his own emotions or feelings. Woody knew right from wrong and therefore felt great guilt for some of his actions. His saving grace was what he learned from his mother, that there is love and caring, but his mother died in the dust storm, leaving Woody to shut down any good, trusting feeling because it can be so easily taken from you.


Posted May. 19, 2023 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 208

RE: How do you think Woody's ...

Woody was always an animal lover. His father tried to instill in Woody that animals were simply for our use, but Woody saw them as much more. He felt a connection with them. His father's cruelty left Woody with the desire to help animals.


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