LONE WOLF

JODI PICOULT

WOLF is a interesting discussion on what constitutes life; when is a person alive, when the plug should be pulled. Famous wolf scientist and researcher Luke Warren is in a coma because of a serious vehicle accident. His daughter Cara (17) who has been living with her father and taking care of him the past few years, wants to keep him alive saying that there is a chance that he will recover. His son Edward (23), who has been living in Thailand since he had a intense fight with his father, wants to pull the plug saying that his father would not want to be kept alive in a vegetative state. Years earlier father had made his son his legal medical advocate. The mother Georgie has moved on to a new husband and started a second family because Luke’s continuing desertion of the family for his beloved wolves. Amid all the medical and legal drama are chapters of Luke’s story and what he has learned about wolf culture and society. That part is fascinating.

“The real power of a wolf isn’t in its fearsome jaws, which can clench with fifteen hundred pounds of pressure per square inch. The real power of a wolf is having that strength, and knowing when not to use it.”

“There’s an honesty to the wolf world that is liberating. There’s no diplomacy, no decorum. You tell your enemy you hate him; you show your admiration by confessing the truth. That directness doesn’t work with humans, who are masters of subterfuge. Does this dress make me look fat? Do you really love me? Did you miss me? When a person asks this, she doesn’t want to know the real answer. She wants you to lie to her. After two years of living with wolves, I had forgotten how many lies it takes to build a relationship.”

“From time to time you’ll see documentaries about low-ranked wolves who somehow rise to the top of the pack – an omega that earns a position as an alpha. Frankly, I don’t buy it. I think that, in actuality, those documentary makers have misidentified the wolf in the first place. For example, an alpha personality, to the man on the street, is usually considered bold and take-charge and forceful. In the wolf world, though that describes the beta rank. Likewise, an omega wolf – a bottom-ranking, timid, nervous animal – can often be confused with a wolf who hangs behind the others, wary, protecting himself, trying to figure out the Big Picture.

Or in other words: There are no fairy tales in the wild, no Cinderella stories. The lowly wolf that seems to rise to the top of the pack was really an alpha all along.”

Not a great work of literature but worth the read.

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