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Teaching and Learning

Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Ordinary Wolves  >  Discussion Questions
Chapter 22

Chapter Summary:  Cutuk travels by dogteam to Abe and Franklin's place. On the way he finds a huge mammoth tusk. He stashes the tusk and continues on to Abe's new house. Abe has left the old home because he's grown tired of seeing hunters on snowmachines killing all the animals.  Cutuk decides he's going to sell the tusk to buy Dawna something nice, fix up the old place, and try to convince her to move in with him.

Discussion Questions:

Why do you think the musher, Ted Brown, is suddenly kissing up to Cutuk? (p. 244)

Points to Consider:

  • Ted has now lived there long enough to probably have heard stories about Cutuk and the way he was raised. Cutuk doesn't know it, but the people in the village admire him and in a way have accepted him.

Why does Cutuk keep his pilot's license a secret? (p. 245)

Points to Consider:

  • He doesn't plan on flying anymore and he doesn't want people to wonder why he isn't going to fly for a career or to hunt.

What does all the misspelled junk mail represent?

Points to Consider:

  • Perhaps the junk mail represents the outside world's disrespect for people, in both their name and intelligence.

What does the ivory mammoth tusk that Cutuk finds represent? (p. 247)

Points to Consider:

  • The tusk represents good fortune. He was lucky to find the tusk and now that luck could translate into a gift for Dawna.
  • It also represents the difference between him and Abe. Abe would admire and leave it. Cutuk will return for it.

Why do you think Cutuk is finally more comfortable telling Abe what he thinks?

Points to Consider:

  • Cutuk has grown up and has grown to admire and respect Abe. He understands that Abe's observations of life outside were correct, in his estimation. He's also missed Abe and wants to show Abe that they hold similar beliefs.

Discuss Cutuk's observations of consumer culture that he shares with Abe. (p. 253)

Points to Consider:

  • Everything revolves around making things easier and more comfortable, but then people have to work to purchase these material goods.
  • Abe suggests people are fattening up for what is to come.

Why does Abe say, "I'm glad you're thinking about things?" (p. 255)

Points to Consider:

  • Abe is happy that Cutuk is seeing the world the same way he sees it.

How did Abe give Cutuk's mom "everything?" (p. 256)

Points to Consider:

  • He brought her to the arctic and "gave" her three exceptional kids. She obviously didn't have the same love for living off the land as Abe did, which to Abe is everything.

How is the work with Abe different from the work Cutuk did in town?

Points to Consider:

  • The work preparing the caribou meat and chopping wood is hard but satisfying. He's working for winter survival, not money.


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