'Julie of the Wolves' book ending SPOILER

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-B.LING

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Jul 15, 1994, 4:50:07 PM7/15/94
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folks,

recently at a garage sale, i came across the children's
book 'julie of the wolves,' a story about an eskimo girl
who is 'adopted' by a pack of wolves (one of the most
wondeful books i've ever read as a child!).

i've always wondered how to interpret the ending.
miyax (julie's eskimo name) had found her father, then
realized that he had lost his 'eskimo-ness' and returned
to the wilderness. then tornait (the plover) died, and
she thought, the hour of the eskimo is now over, and 'pointed
her boots towards kapugen (her father).'

did this ending mean she had given up her new-found freedom
of living on her own in the wild? was the hint that her father
had actually killed the lead wolf really true? (As you can
tell, i really *love* this book).

what do other readers think?

--
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%% The Linguistic Tongue, AT&T %% C Code. C Code Run. Run, Code, RUN! %%
%% b...@hogpf.att.com %% PLEASE!!!! %%
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Floyd Davidson

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Jul 18, 1994, 12:19:20 AM7/18/94
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In article <Ct01v...@nntpa.cb.att.com> b...@hogpf.ho.att.com (-B.LING) writes:
>folks,
>
>recently at a garage sale, i came across the children's
>book 'julie of the wolves,' a story about an eskimo girl
>who is 'adopted' by a pack of wolves (one of the most
>wondeful books i've ever read as a child!).

...

>what do other readers think?

This same subject came up some months ago here, and because I
had never seen the book I made some inquiries about it. My
daughter is a certified elementary teacher, who at the time
was teaching Native Studies for the Juneau, Alaska school
system. Her background in the Yup'ik Eskimo culture of her
mother is extensive... and her comment on the book was a
rather dry dismissal, with words to the effect that some
people actually like it. She didn't say so, but the way
it sounded was more or less that I was being stupid to even
ask about it.

So I found a copy in a book story and read the first two pages
or so...

I can't tell you if it is a good story, because I wouldn't be
able to finish it if I had to. It is insulting and grossly
inaccurate in the portrayal of Yup'ik and Inupiaq people. I
found it offensive. Extremely offensive.

Floyd
--
fl...@ims.alaska.edu A guest on the Institute of Marine Science computer
Salcha, Alaska system at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.

-B.LING

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Jul 18, 1994, 5:11:50 AM7/18/94
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In article <Ct4C0...@raven.alaska.edu>,
Floyd Davidson <fl...@hayes.ims.alaska.edu> wrote:
->[...]
->
->I can't tell you if it is a good story, because I wouldn't be
->able to finish it if I had to. It is insulting and grossly
->inaccurate in the portrayal of Yup'ik and Inupiaq people. I
->found it offensive. Extremely offensive.

could you explain to me what is the insulting parts? this isn't
a flame, btw, i'm rather curious.

thanx,

Sarah E Kahn

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Jul 18, 1994, 5:27:15 AM7/18/94
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> I can't tell you if it is a good story, because I wouldn't be
> able to finish it if I had to. It is insulting and grossly
> inaccurate in the portrayal of Yup'ik and Inupiaq people. I
> found it offensive. Extremely offensive.
>
> Floyd
> --
> fl...@ims.alaska.edu A guest on the Institute of Marine Science computer
> Salcha, Alaska system at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.

Oh, Geez. That makes me very sad. Julie and the Wolves was one of
my FAVOURITE books when I was a kid. Everyone in my home town (Chappaqua,
NY) had read the book, as the author, Jean George, lived there.
I haven't read the book as an adult, and am very sad to hear that
it is insulting and inaccurate in its portrayal. I confess that I don't
have a very clear memory of the people in the book - the WOLVES were what
held my attention as a child - but I will take your word for it.
It is a pity, though. I've always approved of Jean George, as
I think her books encourage sensitivity to the environment and an
awareness of environmental issues. It's a shame that, despite batting
well on one political issue, she struck out on another.

Oh, and incidentally, as a child I interpreted the ending to
mean that Julie had come to a recognition of her heritage. If I remember
rightly, at the beginning of the book, Julie was running away to go live
with her Anglo pen-pal in San Francisco. She thought of her pen-pal's
way of life (I seem to remember something about a canopied bed) as
desirable, while her own was undesirable.
During her stint with the wolves, Julie depended on knowledge
she had gained from her father's stories, in which respect for wolves
was a fundamental tenet. It was only, she had been led to believe, the
white man who would hunt the wolves.
At the beginning of the book, then, Julie had an ambivalent
attitude toward the Europeans. On the one hand, they were foolish,
feared wolves, and hunted them. On the other hand, to be a European,
like her pen-pal, was an intrinsically desirable thing.
At the end of the book, Julie no longer wishes to assimilate;
she has given up her plan to run away to San Francisco. She now, however,
understands that her own people have been forced, through economic
pressures, to betray their own heritage by hunting wolves.
I do not remember thinking that Julie's gesture of filial piety
at the end of the book indicated that she approved of her father's new
occupation. Rather, I assumed that it represented her respect for the
heritage she had learned from him, and a recognition of the pressures
and oppression that had forced him to act against that heritage. I
remember thinking that when Julie grew up, she would become some sort
of activist, and change the situation.
But, then, I was prone to wishful thinking as a child.

Oh, and I DID assume that Daddy had killed the Father Wolf.
I cried.
-- Sarah

ARMSTRONG,SUSAN

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Jul 18, 1994, 3:33:00 PM7/18/94
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In article <Ct4C0...@raven.alaska.edu>, fl...@hayes.ims.alaska.edu (Floyd Davidson) writes...

>This same subject came up some months ago here, and because I
>had never seen the book I made some inquiries about it. My
>daughter is a certified elementary teacher, who at the time
>was teaching Native Studies for the Juneau, Alaska school
>system. Her background in the Yup'ik Eskimo culture of her
>mother is extensive... and her comment on the book was a
>rather dry dismissal, with words to the effect that some
>people actually like it. She didn't say so, but the way
>it sounded was more or less that I was being stupid to even
>ask about it.
>
>So I found a copy in a book story and read the first two pages
>or so...
>
>I can't tell you if it is a good story, because I wouldn't be
>able to finish it if I had to. It is insulting and grossly
>inaccurate in the portrayal of Yup'ik and Inupiaq people. I
>found it offensive. Extremely offensive.
>
> Floyd
>--
>fl...@ims.alaska.edu A guest on the Institute of Marine Science computer
>Salcha, Alaska system at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.

Hi Floyd. I remember your earlier post on this topic and I am
glad, now, to have another opportunity to follow it up. I'm
sure I am not the only person around here who is quite ignorant
about Yup'ik/Inupiaq ways, and who is therefore unable to judge
for herself why and how this book (which I enjoyed a great deal,
for its "wolf" contents) is "extremely offensive" to those
people.

Please tell us more about why you/your daughter consider this
book so insulting to so-called "Eskimos". (Incidentally we
in Canada -- "educated" speakers, anyway -- don't use the
term "Eskimo" any more, so it's strange to a Canadian
to read a book which constantly refers to "Eskimos", kind of
like reading about "negroes" in this day and age. But is
"Eskimo" still considered the correct word in American English?
Floyd, please enlighten me on that point as well.
(Note: No flame intended! No sarcasm meant! None wanted,
either! :) )

-- Susan Armstrong in beautiful downtown Montreal

(if my current address dies, try: <in3...@musicb.mcgill.ca>)

Floyd Davidson

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Jul 20, 1994, 10:41:26 PM7/20/94
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In article <Ct4pJ...@nntpa.cb.att.com> b...@hogpf.ho.att.com (-B.LING) writes:
>In article <Ct4C0...@raven.alaska.edu>,
>Floyd Davidson <fl...@hayes.ims.alaska.edu> wrote:
>->[...]
>->
>->I can't tell you if it is a good story, because I wouldn't be
>->able to finish it if I had to. It is insulting and grossly
>->inaccurate in the portrayal of Yup'ik and Inupiaq people. I
>->found it offensive. Extremely offensive.
>
>could you explain to me what is the insulting parts? this isn't
>a flame, btw, i'm rather curious.

I don't have a copy of the book, and I don't remember exactly the
details. Read the first several pages, and then consider the
impression you get of what Eskimo culture is and is not. My
sensitivity was tweaked because I think what you will get from
that book is an extremely inaccurate concept.

The things I do remember were that Yup'ik was specifically
mentioned, but the locations were where people are Inupiat, and if
I remember right the word used in the book for wolf is in fact
from Inupiaq, not Yu'pik. The relationship between the
geographical areas listed was also completely out of whack, but I
don't remember the specifics.

Basically it was described as being the story of an Eskimo person,
but actually it is what someone imagines that should be. They
have looked up some words and made a list of places on a map, but
couldn't even begin to keep that straight. If that isn't even
accurate, can you imagine how twisted anything concerning the
relationship between the culture and spiritualism or the
environment might be!

It also happens that I believe the misrepresentation is
essentially important to the sort of people who read the two news
groups to which this is posted. We are all reading here because
of an interest in wolves or children, even though some of us have
very different views. We pretty much all do agree that both are
by definition a magnificant example of creation, however it is
that we each differently define that. Some here are more
technically interested, some more mystical, some more romantic...
and there are probably many many different ways to divide and
describe that.

I think we could all (and so could the entire human race) learn a
great deal about what makes a wolf, or a raven, or a crane, or a
bear (or a tree or a child) so important to us each and all if we
better understood how Eskimo cultures interact with nature. The
communications between human and wolf described in the Julie book
is not an accurate portrayal of that, and therefore, IMHO, does
harm.

If anyone would instead be interested in some truely fantastic
stories, write or call the following two places and ask for a list of
published materials they make available:

Sealaska Heritage Foundations
One Sealaska Plaza, Suite 201
Juneau, AK 99801

Or call 907-463-4844

or

The Alaska Native Language Center
PO Box 900111
University of Alaska
Fairbanks, AK 99775-0120

or call 907-474-7874

I don't know that there are specifically any stories relating
to wolves available from either place, but there are many
stories developed specifically to teach children a respect
for nature.

-B.LING

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Jul 21, 1994, 6:58:33 AM7/21/94
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In article <Ct9rH...@raven.alaska.edu>,

Floyd Davidson <fl...@hayes.ims.alaska.edu> wrote:
>
>I don't have a copy of the book, and I don't remember exactly the
>details. Read the first several pages, and then consider the
>impression you get of what Eskimo culture is and is not. My
>sensitivity was tweaked because I think what you will get from
>that book is an extremely inaccurate concept.
>
>The things I do remember were that Yup'ik was specifically
>mentioned, but the locations were where people are Inupiat, and if
>I remember right the word used in the book for wolf is in fact
>from Inupiaq, not Yu'pik. The relationship between the
>geographical areas listed was also completely out of whack, but I
>don't remember the specifics.

ummm, but as a child reading the book, i believe the typical reader
would be more interested in the character interactions, and not if
it's geographically correct. possibly, for an older/more educated
audience, such details (like in the clan of the cave bear!) would
have more of an impact to the story.

>Basically it was described as being the story of an Eskimo person,
>but actually it is what someone imagines that should be. They
>have looked up some words and made a list of places on a map, but
>couldn't even begin to keep that straight. If that isn't even
>accurate, can you imagine how twisted anything concerning the
>relationship between the culture and spiritualism or the
>environment might be!

but children stories are highly imaginary! personally, (as a child) i
found the rather scanty description of the spiritualism to fit into
the story. granted, the dances might be applicable to another tribe,
but the *message* (the wolves, caribou, mankind, etc., all have a place)
really shown through.

>It also happens that I believe the misrepresentation is
>essentially important to the sort of people who read the two news
>groups to which this is posted. We are all reading here because
>of an interest in wolves or children, even though some of us have
>very different views. We pretty much all do agree that both are
>by definition a magnificant example of creation, however it is
>that we each differently define that. Some here are more
>technically interested, some more mystical, some more romantic...
>and there are probably many many different ways to divide and
>describe that.
>
>I think we could all (and so could the entire human race) learn a
>great deal about what makes a wolf, or a raven, or a crane, or a
>bear (or a tree or a child) so important to us each and all if we
>better understood how Eskimo cultures interact with nature. The
>communications between human and wolf described in the Julie book
>is not an accurate portrayal of that, and therefore, IMHO, does
>harm.

i don't know; my first exposure to wolves was from this book (at
age, oh gee, 10 or so), and i've loved wolves ever since. it
really hooked me! and the fact it was a girl-child, doing things
most other female mail characters couldn't (ie, survive on her
own), made a pretty big impression to me.

this is only my opinion and experiences with the novel - does
anyone else out there remember reading the book and can
recall your reactions?

Floyd Davidson

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Jul 21, 1994, 9:38:06 AM7/21/94
to
In article <18JUL199...@pavo.concordia.ca> s_a...@pavo.concordia.ca (ARMSTRONG,SUSAN) writes:
>Please tell us more about why you/your daughter consider this
>book so insulting to so-called "Eskimos". (Incidentally we
>in Canada -- "educated" speakers, anyway -- don't use the
>term "Eskimo" any more, so it's strange to a Canadian
>to read a book which constantly refers to "Eskimos", kind of
>like reading about "negroes" in this day and age. But is
>"Eskimo" still considered the correct word in American English?
>Floyd, please enlighten me on that point as well.
>(Note: No flame intended! No sarcasm meant! None wanted,
>either! :) )

There is no word other than "Eskimo" which describes the same
thing. Therefore when I (or you) wish to refer to that particular
group of people, that is the correct word.

"Eskimo" refers to a group of people and languages, of which there
are several branches. In Canada there exists only one of the
branches, which you refer to as the Inuit (in Alaska they call
themselves Inupiat). I suspect that is the basis for your
perception that the term "Eskimo" is outdated. It is if what you
mean is Inuit.

In Alaska there are also the Aleut and Yup'ik people and
languages, which are just as Eskimo as Inupiat. Greenland Eskimo
people are Inupiat (Inuit) and Siberian Eskimo people are Yup'ik.
The languages spoken by all of these groups are properly refered
to as the Eskimo language group or the Eskimo-Aleut language
group.

Both in Canada and Alaska, "educated" speakers use the word Eskimo
when that is what they mean. They also use the correct wording
when they mean specifically the Inuit. It is wrong, for instance,
to ask "Do you speak Eskimo?", when what you really mean is "Do
you speak Inupiaq?". (Inupiaq is the language of the Inupiat
people, and cannot be understood by a speaker of only Yup'ik or
Aleut.) I tend to use a variety of word combinations, depending on
the audience. Here on Usenet in most news groups I would be
redundant at least once, and say "Yup'ik Eskimo" or "Inupiat
Eskimo", before then dropping the "Eskimo" to refer only to the
specific group. Since most people have now become familiar with
the term "Inuit", it probably would not be necessary to say "Inuit
Eskimo".

Without having read all of the above, I doubt most people would
understand something like my saying my children are Yup'ik. If I
say they are Yup'ik Eskimo at least it gives some reference point.

I would suggest that if this thread is of any interest... either
the alt.culture.alaska group (where you can get quite a variety of
non-Native opinions from Alaskans), or the alt.native or
soc.culture.native groups (where you can get a variety of Native,
but non-Alaskan, opinions) would be a better place to discuss it.

Marcy Thompson

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Jul 21, 1994, 11:15:23 PM7/21/94
to
In a recent alt.wolves,misc.kids article, b...@hogpf.ho.att.com (-B.LING) wrote:

>Floyd Davidson <fl...@hayes.ims.alaska.edu> wrote:
>>
>>Basically it was described as being the story of an Eskimo person,
>>but actually it is what someone imagines that should be. They
>>have looked up some words and made a list of places on a map, but
>>couldn't even begin to keep that straight. If that isn't even
>>accurate, can you imagine how twisted anything concerning the
>>relationship between the culture and spiritualism or the
>>environment might be!
>
>but children stories are highly imaginary! personally, (as a child) i
>found the rather scanty description of the spiritualism to fit into
>the story. granted, the dances might be applicable to another tribe,
>but the *message* (the wolves, caribou, mankind, etc., all have a place)
>really shown through.

I really have a problem with this. Imagine that you are a Christian.
Imagine that you find a book written for children in Tibet about
Christian children in North America. Imagine that the book describes
someone called Jesse Chriss who lived in Greece and was a priest of
the Jews until he was arrested by a pirate for desecrating the Greek
temples. Imagine that the book describes how he was set up on a cross
to die but before he died a fiery angel came down from the sky and took him
bodily up to heaven. Imagine that the book also refers to how Christians
are saved when they recognize that at the moment of their death, the
angel will come to get them also. Imagine that the book actually does
describe some of the principles of Christian life (the Golden Rule,
for instance, and original sin and salvation through faith).
Imagine that you complain to a Tibetan reader that book is distorting
of the values and religion you hold most dear. Imagine that the reader
responds by telling you that she can't see why you are so upset --
after all, the book did a good job of describing the essence of the
Christian message, even if it got some of the details wrong. Imagine
that the reader knows so little about Christianity that she doesn't
come close to understanding exactly why you object to this distortion of
the events and meaning of the crucifixion and resurrection.

How do you feel now? Do you agree with the reader's contention that
the book is so well-written and the message is so wonderful that
Tibetan children who are unlikely to get any other information about
Christian life and spirituality should keep reading it?

I have not read _Julie_of_the_Wolves_. I am perfectly prepared to
believe that it is a powerful and moving, well-written story. But
I am not prepared to give it any child in my care, uncommented, when
someone who understands Eskimo cultures tells me that it is inaccurate
and biased. At the very least, I will take his words seriously enough
to say to my child who tells me how much she loves the book that it
would be interesting to know how much of the Eskimo culture depicted
in the book is accurate and how much is made up by the writer, as I
initate a family project of investigating this culture.

At the very least.

Marcy
--
Marcy Thompson Manager, Education and Training
SoftQuad Inc. +1 604 585 0079
ma...@sqwest.wimsey.bc.ca

-B.LING

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Jul 22, 1994, 5:31:33 PM7/22/94
to
In article <1994Jul22.0...@sqwest.wimsey.bc.ca>,
Marcy Thompson <ma...@sqwest.wimsey.bc.ca> wrote:
->In a recent alt.wolves,misc.kids article, b...@hogpf.ho.att.com (-B.LING) wrote:
->>but children stories are highly imaginary! personally, (as a child) i
->>found the rather scanty description of the spiritualism to fit into
->>the story. granted, the dances might be applicable to another tribe,
->>but the *message* (the wolves, caribou, mankind, etc., all have a place)
->>really shown through.
->
->I really have a problem with this. Imagine that you are a Christian.
->Imagine that you find a book written for children in Tibet about
->Christian children in North America. Imagine that the book describes
->someone called Jesse Chriss who lived in Greece and was a priest of
->the Jews until he was arrested by a pirate for desecrating the Greek
->temples. Imagine that the book describes how he was set up on a cross
->to die but before he died a fiery angel came down from the sky and took him
->bodily up to heaven. Imagine that the book also refers to how Christians
->are saved when they recognize that at the moment of their death, the
->angel will come to get them also. Imagine that the book actually does
->describe some of the principles of Christian life (the Golden Rule,
->for instance, and original sin and salvation through faith).
->Imagine that you complain to a Tibetan reader that book is distorting
->of the values and religion you hold most dear. Imagine that the reader
->responds by telling you that she can't see why you are so upset --
->after all, the book did a good job of describing the essence of the
->Christian message, even if it got some of the details wrong.
->[...]

well, actually, since i'm agnostic, the above scenario wouldn't
bother me a whit. to me, the essense of a religion/spirituality/etc.
is the lessons learned (in christianity's case, golden rule etc.).
so the specific' of one's mythology don't concern me as much as
what the stories try to teach/communicate.

YMMV.

ARMSTRONG,SUSAN

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Jul 23, 1994, 1:20:00 PM7/23/94
to
In article <Ct9rH...@raven.alaska.edu>, fl...@hayes.ims.alaska.edu (Floyd Davidson) writes...

>
>
>Basically it was described as being the story of an Eskimo person,
>but actually it is what someone imagines that should be. They
>have looked up some words and made a list of places on a map, but
>couldn't even begin to keep that straight. If that isn't even
>accurate, can you imagine how twisted anything concerning the
>relationship between the culture and spiritualism or the
>environment might be!
>
>It also happens that I believe the misrepresentation is
>essentially important to the sort of people who read the two news
>groups to which this is posted. We are all reading here because
>of an interest in wolves or children, even though some of us have
>very different views. We pretty much all do agree that both are
>by definition a magnificant example of creation, however it is
>that we each differently define that. Some here are more
>technically interested, some more mystical, some more romantic...

All of the above, in my case! :-)

>and there are probably many many different ways to divide and
>describe that.
>
>I think we could all (and so could the entire human race) learn a
>great deal about what makes a wolf, or a raven, or a crane, or a
>bear (or a tree or a child) so important to us each and all if we
>better understood how Eskimo cultures interact with nature. The
>communications between human and wolf described in the Julie book
>is not an accurate portrayal of that, and therefore, IMHO, does
>harm.

I agree completely that the depiction of a lost girl being
accepted by a wild wolf pack, in such an intimate way,
is very fanciful. (I think that in one scene, Miyax even
tastes the milk of the mother wolf. Uhh, okay...?) From a
natural history point of view, _Julie of the wolves_ wuold
have been far more effective if it had been written in a
more allegorical fashion, instead of being presented as
"realistic" fiction.

I recently bought a cassette tape of a reading of _Julie of
the Wolves_. (Reading by the actress Irene Worth I think)
In the insert, Jean Craighead, the author, describes her
visit to the Naval Arctic Research Lab and the feeling of
oneness she had with a caged female wolf during her short
visit. I found this ironic, having read several articles
(from roughly the same time period) about the shameful
conditions in which the NARL wolves were kept. (In open
wire cages, or rather wire boxes, about the size of a dog
run, without any protection from winter storms, padding
their own wastes into a hardened mass, etc. etc... thse
wolves were being used for experiments to determine,e.g.,
why wolves' feet don't freeze in extreme cold. Some of the
wolves had been in those tiny cages for 7 or 8 years, I
believe.) I do not KNOW that Ms. Craighead was "communing"
with that female wolf under these same poor conditions,
but I have to wonder...

Anyway, Lloyd, thanks for your responses to the postings on
_Julie_'s depiction of Eskimo culture. I notice you seem to be
declining to try to describe just what is insulting about
the book. Maybe you don't wish to presume how an Eskimo would
react, or maybe you just can't remember the book too well! :-)
But for those of us out here who are too busy/lazy to research
this for ourselves right now, if you could try to explain further,
we would really appreciate it. Pretty please? With sugar
on it? :-) :-)

-- Susan

ARMSTRONG,SUSAN

unread,
Jul 23, 1994, 1:23:00 PM7/23/94
to

Oops! As soon as I pressed the key to send my last follow-up,
I realized I called Floyd "Lloyd" in my post. I bet you really
hate it when people do that, Floyd...

-- Susan Armstrong aka Sandra Anderson (the latter name is
what people tend to call _me_ by mistake)

Marcy Thompson

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Jul 23, 1994, 12:27:35 PM7/23/94
to
In a recent misc.kids article, b...@hogpf.ho.att.com (-B.LING) wrote:

>Marcy Thompson <ma...@sqwest.wimsey.bc.ca> wrote:

>->I really have a problem with this. Imagine that you are a Christian.

>


>well, actually, since i'm agnostic, the above scenario wouldn't
>bother me a whit. to me, the essense of a religion/spirituality/etc.
>is the lessons learned (in christianity's case, golden rule etc.).
>so the specific' of one's mythology don't concern me as much as
>what the stories try to teach/communicate.

Yes, well I'm not a Christian either. What you are demonstrating in
this thread is an inability to respect other people's deeply held
beliefs and their identities.

Notice that I did not ask you to try out that scenario and see if it
offended you. I asked to to imagine that you are a Christian and
then see whether the scneario offended you.

But never mind. If you don't care whether you treat whole reams of
people with disrespect, who am I to try to change your mind?
>
>YMMV.

You can bet it does.

-B.LING

unread,
Jul 23, 1994, 2:25:12 PM7/23/94
to
In article <1994Jul23.1...@sqwest.wimsey.bc.ca>,
Marcy Thompson <ma...@sqwest.wimsey.bc.ca> wrote:
->In a recent misc.kids article, b...@hogpf.ho.att.com (-B.LING) wrote:
->

->>Marcy Thompson <ma...@sqwest.wimsey.bc.ca> wrote:
->
->>->I really have a problem with this. Imagine that you are a Christian.
->
->>
->>well, actually, since i'm agnostic, the above scenario wouldn't
->>bother me a whit. to me, the essense of a religion/spirituality/etc.
->>is the lessons learned (in christianity's case, golden rule etc.).
->>so the specific' of one's mythology don't concern me as much as
->>what the stories try to teach/communicate.
->
->Yes, well I'm not a Christian either. What you are demonstrating in
->this thread is an inability to respect other people's deeply held
->beliefs and their identities.

marcy, dear, such black and white attacks on my abilities are
not good ways to engage in meaningful debate. you may believe
what you will.

->Notice that I did not ask you to try out that scenario and see if it
->offended you. I asked to to imagine that you are a Christian and
->then see whether the scneario offended you.
->
->But never mind. If you don't care whether you treat whole reams of
->people with disrespect, who am I to try to change your mind?

it certainly appears like you took a flying leap off the logic
train, to come to the above conclusion given my original posting.
since i prefer debating ideas without falling back on insults
given no provocation, i doubt that continued debate would productive.

->>YMMV.
->
->You can bet it does.

indeed.

Lynn Diana Gazis

unread,
Jul 23, 1994, 3:18:25 PM7/23/94
to
ARMSTRONG,SUSAN (s_a...@pavo.concordia.ca) wrote:

: Anyway, Lloyd, thanks for your responses to the postings on


: _Julie_'s depiction of Eskimo culture. I notice you seem to be
: declining to try to describe just what is insulting about
: the book.

I recall that at the beginning of this group, Julie's father arranges a
marriage between her and a mentally retarded boy, that the boy's friends
goad him into trying to make her have sex with him, and that she runs
away (and that is how she winds up trying to make her way to the friend
in San Francisco, and encountering the wolf pack on the way). I wonder
whether that marriage might be what was insulting about the book.

Lynn Gazis-Sax

Floyd Davidson

unread,
Jul 24, 1994, 6:13:58 PM7/24/94
to

Susan's article hasn't shown up here yet (the news server is
flaky), so I haven't seen the rest of her post. But she seems to
have misunderstood something. I've pointed out at least once or
twice that I do not have a copy of the book, have not read more
than a few pages of it, and that was some time back. I cannot,
and have stated so, give a list of page by page items.

In fact I had not read enough to see even what Lynn comments on
above, but I'm not at all surprised to hear that it says things like
that. My personal objection was that it describes a culture that
might be found in Ottawa or Montreal, but is not an Alaskan Eskimo
culture, yet it claims to be exactly that.

All that aside, the only _important_ comment that I made, which
perhaps I should expand on, was that I asked someone with proper
credentials and experience to give me an evaluation of the book,
and was given a very negative reply. The reply was very short and
to the point because it was from my daughter, and she needs not
waste a lot of breath with Dad to be understood. She has a degree
in elementary education, has taught Alaska Native Studies in the
Juneau school system, has done elementary level curriculum
development for the Smithsonian Institute, and has been been a
spokes person on Native cultural issues for the National Congress
of American Indians and the Alaska Federation of Natives.

If she says the book is in poor taste, I'm not buying it for my
grandchildren, and I don't mind telling everyone why.

Sarah E Kahn

unread,
Jul 24, 1994, 7:37:34 PM7/24/94
to
> I recently bought a cassette tape of a reading of _Julie of
> the Wolves_. (Reading by the actress Irene Worth I think)
> In the insert, Jean Craighead, the author, describes her
> visit to the Naval Arctic Research Lab and the feeling of
> oneness she had with a caged female wolf during her short
> visit. I found this ironic, having read several articles
> (from roughly the same time period) about the shameful
> conditions in which the NARL wolves were kept. (In open
> wire cages, or rather wire boxes, about the size of a dog
> run, without any protection from winter storms, padding
> their own wastes into a hardened mass, etc. etc... thse
> wolves were being used for experiments to determine,e.g.,
> why wolves' feet don't freeze in extreme cold. Some of the
> wolves had been in those tiny cages for 7 or 8 years, I
> believe.) I do not KNOW that Ms. Craighead was "communing"
> with that female wolf under these same poor conditions,
> but I have to wonder...


It is indeed unfortunate that Jean Craighead did not do her
research when she set out to write a book about a culture about
which she knew little, and now that her errors have been explained
to me, I do agree that she was irresponsible in permitting such
inaccuracies to be published. I think that I might well still approve
of the book for my children, though - I'd just let them know that
the depiction of Eskimo culture contained within the book was inaccurate,
and try to balance it with books that show the culture as it really is.
About the NARL wolves, though...

Jean Craighead, who writes under the name of Jean George, is from
my home town of Chappaqua, New York. In my childhood, she was well-known as
the person to whom one could go with questions about baby birds,
injured squirrels, and so on. She was extremely knowledgeable about
the proper care and treatment of animals, and was on friendly terms
with the authorities at the nearby Nature Reserve. She was also an
outspoken advocate of environmental issues.
It was common knowledge, in my childhood, that when you found
an injured wild animal, the thing to do was to call Jean George. She
would often take in the animals herself, or would refer you to the
Nature Reserve staff, who sometimes gave advice and occasionally would
come and pick up the animals. Her home was a managerie of recovering wild
creatures, which were released once they could once more fend for
themselves.
The comment about "communing" with the NARL wolf was certainly
unwise. I did want, however, to establish for the record that Jean
Craighead is neither insensitive to nor ignorant of the plight of
animals, and that she is, in fact, active in improving their lives not
only on an activist level, but also on a personal one.

BTW - I can strongly recommend her book "Who Killed Cock Robin"
for any child interested in environmental issues. It is a Whodunnit
of sorts - except that the victim is a bird, and the suspects various
types of environmental pollutants. Great read!

-- Sarah

ARMSTRONG,SUSAN

unread,
Jul 25, 1994, 5:23:00 AM7/25/94
to
In article <CtGtr...@raven.alaska.edu>, fl...@hayes.ims.alaska.edu (Floyd Davidson) writes...

>In article <gazissaxC...@netcom.com> gazi...@netcom.com (Lynn Diana Gazis) writes:
>>ARMSTRONG,SUSAN (s_a...@pavo.concordia.ca) wrote:
>>
>>: Anyway, Lloyd, thanks for your responses to the postings on
>>: _Julie_'s depiction of Eskimo culture. I notice you seem to be
>>: declining to try to describe just what is insulting about
>>: the book.

[ hi, it's Susan again! ]

my response to Floyd's response to the foregoing two
sentences excised from my post:

I just e-mailed Floyd to explain personally that he has
read these two sentences out of their original context,
and unfortunately they were not beautifully written and
so sound a bit provocative out of context.

The rest of Floyd's post went on to list (in part) his
daughter's credentials to prove why her opinion o fthe
book was good enough for him. I was disturbed and
embarrassed by this, and I would like to assure everyone
that in no way did I intend to question Floyd's
daughter's credentials. Such a thing never entered my
head. I am sorry if any part of my post created that
impression.

I was just wheedling Floyd to try to be a bit more
specific about what was wrong with the book. It must
have slipped my mind that he had earlier mentioned
having read only a small part of it.

Hope this clears things up. :-)

So why had Floyd seen Ms. Gazis' follow-up to my post,
but not my original post yet? (Nor, I suppose, has he seen
my next post, which apologized publicly for calling
him Lloyd by mistake! ;-)
I'll just never understand the mysteries of the net.

-- Susan

Floyd Davidson

unread,
Jul 25, 1994, 10:44:02 PM7/25/94
to
Ok, Susan's _two_ articles showed up here today, so I can
comment directly on them.

In article <23JUL199...@pavo.concordia.ca> s_a...@pavo.concordia.ca (ARMSTRONG,SUSAN) writes:
>believe.) I do not KNOW that Ms. Craighead was "communing"
>with that female wolf under these same poor conditions,
>but I have to wonder...

Thats what I meant! The lady is a good story teller, but I like
good stories first and good story tellers second.

>Anyway, Lloyd, thanks for your responses to the postings on
>_Julie_'s depiction of Eskimo culture. I notice you seem to be
>declining to try to describe just what is insulting about
>the book. Maybe you don't wish to presume how an Eskimo would
>react, or maybe you just can't remember the book too well! :-)
>But for those of us out here who are too busy/lazy to research
>this for ourselves right now, if you could try to explain further,
>we would really appreciate it. Pretty please? With sugar
>on it? :-) :-)

Ahh, Sandra...

I guess that was covered well enough in my last post except I
didn't know you were asking for more sugar on it. Sorry. :-) ;-)

Floyd

(Lloyd is ok too, everyone calls me "Ap'a Flo" now, and I would
have been willing to fight about that "Flo" bit, once upon a time.)

Floyd Davidson

unread,
Jul 27, 1994, 12:14:52 AM7/27/94
to
In article <25JUL199...@pavo.concordia.ca> s_a...@pavo.concordia.ca (ARMSTRONG,SUSAN) writes:
>
>I was just wheedling Floyd to try to be a bit more
>specific about what was wrong with the book. It must
>have slipped my mind that he had earlier mentioned
>having read only a small part of it.
>
>Hope this clears things up. :-)

It does it does...

>So why had Floyd seen Ms. Gazis' follow-up to my post,
>but not my original post yet? (Nor, I suppose, has he seen
>my next post, which apologized publicly for calling
>him Lloyd by mistake! ;-)
>I'll just never understand the mysteries of the net.

It is a local problem with the news server here at the University
of Alaska. I dare not say much more about it... :-) But it
isn't uncommon here to know about an article only because there
are many followups being posted. Eventually the original shows
up, and sometimes we see a few duplicates too. That can be
even more embarassing than replying to things without seeing
the entire context...

martinezs...@gmail.com

unread,
Mar 20, 2019, 8:00:42 PM3/20/19
to
On Friday, July 15, 1994 at 1:50:07 PM UTC-7, -B.LING wrote:
> folks,
>
> recently at a garage sale, i came across the children's
> book 'julie of the wolves,' a story about an eskimo girl
> who is 'adopted' by a pack of wolves (one of the most
> wonderful books i've ever read as a child!).

Khat McGurk

unread,
Oct 4, 2021, 4:41:03 PMOct 4
to
I know this is from a long, long time ago but I just finally read the book and had the same question. These are fascinating answers. I don't care how accurate it is because it is, obviously, a work of fiction and complicated at that. The painful parts are many. I just wanted to know what happened to her.
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