24 Aug 2009

Sample Essay: Discuss The Role Of Conflict In Advancing Self Understanding Of Main Character In Never Cry Wolf

Introduction

‘Never Cry Wolf’ is primarily the conflict that man has and encounters with nature and the wild. Tyler, the protagonist, sets out on an expedition to the Arctic to conduct a scientific study there. There, he comes into contact with the wolves, and begins to explore the unknown traits of these canines, whom he had dreaded earlier. He used to get up in the middle of the night, seemingly intimidated by them. However, on closer study of these wolves, Tyler was about to learn something more bizarre than what he had heard. Never Cry Wolf is based upon the true story of Farley Mowat (The author) who spent two years as a biologist studying a family of wolves in northern Canada during the mid nineteen fifties. After arriving there, Mowat finds a group of wolves and begins his research. He discovers that the behavior of the wolves was contrary to his expectations; for they were very efficient and resourceful and had their own distinctive culture (123helpme.com).

Literature Review

‘Never Cry Wolf,’ is the story of a man, Tyler, and his interaction with nature to unearth the mystery surrounding the life and behavior of the wolves in the Arctic region. Tyler who till that point had heard and read about the savage nature of wolves was apprehensive and not ready to face these beasts head-on.

He had dreamt of being attacked and killed by wolves and this was something that he was not ready for. When he was selected to go on the expedition, I rather frightened Tyler quipped: “Why me? Maybe it was all a mistake”

Tyler wasn’t sure he wanted to be a part of the expedition, but had volunteered rather unconsciously. When Tyler arrives, he has doubts about his presence in the north, and whether or not he made the right decision to volunteer to conduct the study. He looses his confidence, afraid that nature would defeat him. In volunteering to come on the expedition, Tyler had taken the first step in understanding the inner conflict within him on the life and habits of wolves. But was the decision justified? He knew that at some point of time, he would come in contact with these wild beasts that might turn on him and kill him, for they were wild animals after all.

However, on being left alone, and destined to fight for survival on his own, Tyler befriends a native of the land, Ootak, with whom he decides to settle down in a cave and proceed with his exploration. He remains close to the wolves’ habitat to understand and know their behavior better. Wolves are pretty shy and can smell trouble to a long distance. The move into a cave near their habitat had made them obscure, which prompted Tyler to muse: “I am in pursuit of the phantoms.”
He still had the fear for his life, knowing pretty well that should these wild animals get any closer to him, they would attack him fatally. He was however never attacked by the pack of wolves that he got to see after his long, endurance with Ootak. So long was he with Ootak in the cave that he lost count of how long he was there in the wild with the wolves and Ootak. With time, he learned how to relate to the wolves, and eventually became friendly with two wolves, George and Angeline. The inner conflict within him, was now giving way to one of admiration and respect for the wolves. George and Angeline display characteristics quite contrary to Tyler’s expectation, and when Ootak tells him that it was wolves that had protected him from certain death, Tyler’s admiration for these beasts grow strong and he becomes so possessed by these fascinating animals that he even starts to behave and eat like them. From a man obsessed with fright, Tyler was a changed man. The contact between the man and beast had driven the devil out of him. The inner conflict had gone and was replaced by an understanding of respect and pious. In the death of Angeline and George, brutally killed by Rosy, Tyler was shattered, for through them, Tyler had made a pact with nature; his irreversible love for nature. A pale of gloom descends the wilderness, as the loss of his two accomplices is too hard for him to bear. Despite adversities and pain, Tyler, who came, a scared isolated man, overcame many obstacles with the help of his friends, George and Angeline, and returned successfully after completing his research on the behaviour of his beloved wolves.

For Tyler in the end, it was not the wolves that were the beasts, it was humans themselves. The greed of Rosy to make money by selling fur, took the life of George and Angeline. The wolves played the role of balancing nature; the termination of the weak and old, leaving the young and strong to grow to strength. For nature required them too. It is man who is destroying nature and the wild.

The final exclamation by Tyler speaks of reality: “In the end, there are no heroes, no villains, only silence.”

Tyler for all his interaction with civilization and the wild just couldn’t save the wolves from the hungry pack of human beings, for they hunted the wolves for their fur. It was not the wolves that were decimating caribou, but people like Rosy.

Tyler envied the life of the wolves, their interaction with each other, their territorial divisions, and their social organization. They were very organized and respected the territorial rights of the others. When George and Angeline knew of Tyler, they never intruded into his privacy and expected him to do the same. Unfortunately, in the eyes of man, these wolves were mere animals that represented money. In nature, wolves are part of the cycle of life just like man, and they have every right to live their life just like us. It’s not within our prerogative to extinct them from the face of the earth. In general, wolves symbolize nature and wilderness (Meister, 2008).

Conclusion

Farley Mowat wrote his actual real life experience through his much acclaimed book, ‘Never Cry Wolf,’ after returning from the army and became a biologist. Mowat is assigned by the Canadian government to study the wolf population and their behaviour. The government assumption that it was the wolves’ merciless killing of caribou herd that was leading to their extinction was put to rest by Mowat, who had earlier supported this theory. After months of observing and living amongst a male wolf and his mate, Mowat found wolves to be graceful and intelligent creatures that ate only when they needed to, on field mice, and specific sick, old and weak caribou. By killing the weakest of the caribou, Mowat asserted that wolves actually helped strengthen the caribou herd. The false representation of the wolf species was because of the minimal one actually knew about wolves, and highlights why the government should not eliminate the wolf species purely based on false propaganda. Conservation of the natural wildlife is of great concern.

References

Essay, Research Paper: Never Cry Wolf, Meister Custom Essay, http://www.customessaymeister.com/customessays/Literature/1784.htm

123helpme.com, Never Cry Wolf, http://www.123helpme.com/preview.asp?id=78933

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