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McGill Mowat (1921-2014) Canadian writer, naturalist, conservationist, an
environmental advocate was born in Belleville, Ontario. Internationally
acclaimed novelist, the author of many books which have been translated into
several languages. especially books for young readers, and memoirs and have
sold more than seventeen million copies. He often wrote
about isolated native populations, such as the Caribou Inuits, or about animal
life, especially threatened species. His creation includes Lost in the
Barrens, a winner of Canada’s Governor General’s Award, The Boat Who Wouldn’t
Float, People of the Deer, The Snow Walker, A Whale for the Killing, The
Passion of Dian Fossy and etc.

Cry Wolf” is Mowat’s most widely known book, written in 1963. It is an
autobiographical story about the study of Arctic wolves and his solo mission
adventures as a biologist in the Keewatin Barren Lands in northern Manitoba. The
book is credited with changing the stereotypically negative perception of
wolves as vicious killers. Mowat wrote: “We have doomed the wolf not for
what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be the
mythological epitome of a savage, ruthless killer.”

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As an
actor, Charles Martin Smith
played the main role in Never Cry Wolf.  He had been affected by
involvement in making that film and decided to adopt another book of Farley
Mowat, The Snow Walker, by the man, he once depicted with. He chose “Walk Well, My
Brother” the short story. The reason of choosing was the simplicity of the
story, putting two different people against the elements of the Northwest
Territories. Screenplay contains some elements from “The Blood in their
Veins” and other Farley Mowat’s 
stories. Later in 2003 Mowat re-released The Snow Walker. An anthology of short stories which included “Walk
Well, My Brother” and preface been featured by Smith.

Well, My Brother” is about of two different cultures that forcibly come
together in order to remain alive in the frozen tundra. The short story
illustrates how a person can get to know from another person who is entirely
different from them and be changed by their arrogance and making him a good
person. With a minimum of dialogue, it also tells us the importance of not
being prejudicial toward another people, culture and religion and sends out a
major message.

main protagonist is the Charlie Lavery. He works as a Pilot in the Yukon
Territory, when this story starts. He served as a Military bomber pilot during
the war and counted on his capability of looking after himself no matter what
the circumstances. He is relying on technology and lets his pride get in the
way of what is the best for him. As the author says, ”he was very much of the
new elite that believed that any challenge could be dealt with by good machines
in the hands of skilled men”. Charles wasn’t familiar with the Arctic and the
people that lived there. He thought that he did not need this wisdom as long as
he had his reliability to machines. This ignorance made him feel abhorred with
the local people who lived there because he was not acquainted with native’s
way of life. When his trustworthy machines were no longer of use, he had no
experience to fall back upon and entirely dependent on a first nation woman
Konola. Whom he felt deep repugnance for her at first sight. His lack of
ability care of himself made him to co-operate and to try to get well this
person who was so foreign to him. Charlie behaves toward Konala with constant
lack of courtesy to the way she does things over the journey but she just
agrees with him.
The secondary protagonist is Konala. She is very sick with tuberculosis and
sent to a hospital by her husband with Charlie to Yellowknife. As a first
nation woman, she shows respect and loyalty him throughout the story. Even with
how Charlie is mistreating her. As a native person she has huge experience of
how to remain alive in the wilderness and like Charlie, she hasn’t had any dependence
on technology. Konala volumes everything Charlie can do but he does not
appreciate any of the things that she can do. He would rather eat beans from a
can instead of taking a nice cooked meal from her in order to demonstrate to
her that he can do things on his own. The conflict finds a solution almost at
the end of the story when Konala come to the aid of him worn out in the fields
and he gains her as a friend.

is angry, thinks only of himself, a resentful individual who is self-absorbed.
Additional to that racist and sexist towards Konala due to her skin colour,
because she is a woman and because of the way she does things differently to
survive in the outdoors. After the plane crashes he blames her for every single
thing that goes not well. He humiliates Konala by calling her ” a bloody
albatross around his neck” and ”eat it yourself you animal” when she offers
him a food. Despite he had left her to die she still goes after him throughout
the Arctic in order to save him. Charlie gradually starts to show respect this
woman and he begins to realize that he was wrong. In story Charlie is asking
himself; “Why had Konola not stayed in the relative safety of the aircraft or
else travelled north to seek her own people? What had impelled her… to rescue a
man of another race who had abandoned her?” It illustrates how Charles still
feels discrimination toward her and reason is her race. He cannot imagine how
she would follow a man of “another race”. For Konola it is not as important and
that is why she feels bounded to save his life. Charlie is very touched by her
kindness. She looked after him and treated him back to health even though she
herself wasn’t well. This astonished Charles and altered him from a selfish
person to a more caring one. It changed his view of the local people and on how
he behaved toward others. At the end of the story, Konola becomes too ill and
weak to care for herself. He starts to look after her which gave us evidence
about his alteration because of their condition and for everything she has done
for him.

turning point of the story I would say happens when they meet the bear almost end
of their journey.  This is the first dangerous
animal they have faced. Knowing they didn’t work well together earlier, it’s a
major test for Charlie to see if he has finally mature enough respect to help
Konala out.

main symbol of the novel is the boots that Konala was using. Knowing she is
reaching her end, Konala gives the boots she has been fine walking in over
their journey to Charlie and leaves him with the words “Walk Well, My
Brother”. They have bonded with one another like brother and sister.


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