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Teaching and Learning

Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Ordinary Wolves  >  Discussion Questions
Chapter 24
Chapter Summary: 
The Darkness has descended upon Takunak. Cutuk attends a village meeting where the corporation plans to shell out money for cultural education, but those attending are more interested in the door prizes. Lumpy is on edge and carrying a pistol in his pocket. He gets a box of Aqua Net hairspray in the mail to drink later that night. Janet asks Cutuk to try to get Lumpy, Stevie, and Melt to quit getting drunk off hairspray. Cutuk goes to the party at Lumpy's house. Cutuk witnesses his friends drinking the hairspray, and for the first time he passes up the opportunity to party and fit in.  Lumpy threatens him and he leaves. Iris warns of something bad to come and that night Lumpy kills himself.

Discussion Questions:

How has Cutuk's role in the village changed from his youth?

Points to Consider:

  • Cutuk is no longer an outsider. He's a part of the community and doesn't feel as out of place or foreign. He's in on the jokes and is respected and no longer picked on or beaten up.

What problems does the shareholder meeting illustrate?

Points to Consider:

  • They have to give prizes to get people to attend, and those that do are not interested in what is being said.
  • Money is being thrown at problems without any effectiveness.
  • The people laugh at the idea of a grant for cultural education.

Why does Janet ask Cutuk to "let" Lumpy and the others quit abusing Aqua Net?

Points to Consider:

  • Her role as a woman keeps her from being able to keep her sons from bad behavior. She can scold them, but she has little power over the men.

Why is Cutuk's choice not to drink the Aqua Net significant? (p. 282-283)

Points to Consider:

  • For once Cutuk is choosing to not fit in. He could drink and be like everyone else, but he chooses not to and even tells Stevie that he needs to quit.

Why do you think Stevie tells Cutuk that he should have stayed, but then says he's glad Cutuk went, and that he was "lucky" to leave? (p. 283)

Points to Consider:

  • Stevie is drunk, but he's also sharing the complex emotions he has for Cutuk. He's jealous that Cutuk left, but happy that he did and that he was able to escape the chaos of the village.

What effect does the "Darkness" seem to have on people?

Points to Consider:

  • There is a growing sense of doom and uneasiness amongst the people. When Cutuk says he's confused, Iris tells him it's just the Darkness, and when she says she feels like something bad is going to happen, Cutuk does the same.

Can Iris see the future, or is she just very perceptive when it comes to people?

Points to Consider:

  • Cutuk believes she has some sort of "gift," but she may just be more in tune with the people around her and sense when they are on edge or prone to doing something.

What foreshadowing hinted at Lumpy's suicide?

Points to Consider:

  • He's carrying the pistol in his pocket and waves the gun around carelessly at the meeting. He gets his package of hairspray and leaves. The implication is that he will be drinking the hairspray to get high.
  • Throughout the whole book stories about Lumpy are often about his poor treatment of dogs, which points to an angry and troubled soul.
  • Lumpy threatens John and then is vocally hostile to Cutuk during the party.


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