American Writers, Supplement XVI by Leonard Unger, Jay Parini

By Leonard Unger, Jay Parini

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Gone are the two underlings of Dudley who oppose Wallis; they are now the single character Matthew. In the novel Wallis actually works for Dudley, though he retains most of the traits of the former Wallis. Sara is now Mel, the daughter of Dudley, drawing the characters closer together. But Mel lives in Montana, where Wallis is sent by Dudley to find the oil he and Matthew could not. Wallis does find oil, but the townspeople, who tell him, “It has more power if you leave it there,” convince him not to drill, echoing the earlier story’s ethos of doing it for the love of the thing.

Her mother, Mildred (Washburn) McLean graduated from Wellesley College in 1912 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English; she died of tuberculosis in 1942, at age fifty-two, when Bly was twelve years old. Bly had three older brothers, Russell, John and Malcolm, who served in the military in World War II. ) During that war, her father, who had served in World War I, was head of a temporary coast guard unit on Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota. As an adolescent and teenager, Bly attended Abbot Academy in Andover, Massachusetts (then a girls’ boarding school, now a part of Phillips Academy in Andover).

It does not sentimentalize. ” (xiii) The implicit answer to the question is: human beings. Again his ideas about nature are couched in religious terms. What begins as a plea for the wolf’s survival becomes a character study of those involved in the reintroduction effort. ” (29) The characterization of the students and subsequently of the wolves does a wonderful job humanizing, not the wolves, but their plight. Bass says, “I cannot help but keep believing that—against whatever odds—wolves will make it back to this land because the land desires it.

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