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Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Ordinary Wolves  >  Discussion Questions
Chapter-by-chapter discussion questions for teachers teaching Seth Kantner's award-winning novel Ordinary Wolves.
Chapter 1
Cutuk, Jerry, and Iris Hawcly prepare the sod-igloo for a visitor, Enuk Wolfglove. Abe is too generous to visitors. Enuk shares his hunting stories and the young Cutuk dreams of being a respected hunter like Enuk.

Chapter 2
Wolves steal their supply of meat, but Abe is too focused on painting to care. Jerry and Cutuk worry about going hungry. Abe takes Iris hunting and Jerry and Cutuk are left behind to haul water and wood. Cutuk reads Jerry's diary and Jerry bloodies his nose....

Chapter 3
The wolves circle Cutuk, and from the pack leader's point of view, choose to lead the pack away from the "man" who carries the scent of a pup who lost his mother early in his life.

Chapter 4
The Hawclys travel to the village for supplies and mail. Bruce Lee films have brought a new style of violence to the village and Cutuk bears the brunt of this with all the kids wanting to fight him because he is white and therefore different....

Chapter 5
A pack of wolves disintegrates from hunger and injury. A lone female leaves and finds new territory and caribou. She encounters a strange pack of wolves and they allow her to live, but she doesn't survive the winter.

Chapter 6
Enuk disappears and Cutuk searches for him. Iris returns from Fairbanks and tries to talk Cutuk into going to college with her the next year. He's not comfortable with the idea of city life. Abe travels to the village for supplies and news of Enuk....

Chapter 7
The voices and sounds of nature echo across the land as the wolves stalk caribou. A pike swallows a shrew. This is life and death during an arctic night.

Chapter 8
With Iris gone away to college, Cutuk moves to Takunak for school. He lives with Dawna and Stevie in the Wolfglove house. Life is complicated there with Melt drinking and Cutuk hiding his love for Dawna. Melt Wolfglove resents having a white boy living in the house....

Chapter 9
An eighteen-year-old Cutuk buys a used Arctic Cat with his Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend check and news of his purchase spreads through Takunak. Dawna makes him a Valentine's card but the card gets ripped and she throws it out....

Chapter 10
A wolf watches a human walk along the creek in the canyon below her den. She watches his movements and interprets his disposition from the way he walks. He's not hunting, but he senses her and they lock eyes....

Chapter 11
Abe and Cutuk head out spring camping in the mountains. Abe paints while Cutuk explores and hunts. He comes across the wolf in the canyon and some rope that might have belonged to Enuk. Spooked by the wolf, he leaves before he can investigate further....

Chapter 12
As he flies to Anchorage for the first time, Cutuk suffers with a hangover after drinking Lysol to celebrate his twenty-second birthday. Anchorage is huge, fast, and frustrating. He loses directions to January's house and spends the night sleeping outside....

Chapter 13
Cutuk washes up using toilet water in the airport and puts on clothing he purchased from Value Village. He calls January and lies to him, telling him that he just arrived. January picks up Cutuk, borrows some money from him, and takes him to a gas station and then his house....

Chapter 14
A pack of wolves struggles with the death of their pack leaders. Ravens pick at the carcass of the big male. Another pack joins up with them. The social structure of the pack has been changed and the territory disputes have died. The mature wolves in the pack mate.

Chapter 15
Cutuk rides his bike to Anchorage's Dimond mall in search of a date. On the way he gives a panhandler some money. At the mall he wonders through the mirrored walls of consumerism. Instead of a girlfriend, he finds Charley, who has traveled to town to collect a car he supposedly won....

Chapter 16
Cutuk finally meets up with Dawna, but it's far from romantic. She's got a jerk for a boyfriend, who appears to be fueling their relationship with his fast car and cocaine. Cutuk gets high with Dawna and then flees. He steals her car and rides through town....

Chapter 17
Lance teaches Cutuk to dance, and he begins to fall for Cheryl. She asks him about what kind of wolves he's seen and he tells her, "Ordinary wolves"....

Chapter 18
A pregnant female wolf flees a persistent hunter. He wounds her and then runs her over but she manages to escape, wounded.

Chapter 19
Jerry and Cutuk head to Fairbanks. Cutuk works for Jerry and he begins to understand how Jerry survives in the city. They attend a lecture on an anthropological dig near their home and it is rife with inaccuracies. Cutuk leaves the lecture angry....

Chapter 20
Cutuk reads a news story of a woman being raped and killed. He finds out the woman was Hannah Wanna, the woman who fed him pizza when he was on the streets of Anchorage. His call to Takunak brings news of suicides and fat caribou. He goes out drinking and is befriended by Bobby....

Chapter 21
Young wolves play, mock fight, and dig up old bones from the tundra. This is their first winter snow. They watch winter descend upon the land they have known for a "hundred thousand generations before any colors of human."

Chapter 22
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....

Chapter 23
Treason joins Cutuk to help him get the sod-igloo dug out of the snow. Treason shoots a porcupine that has taken up residence in the house. The two eat it, and then go hunting. Cutuk is a reluctant hunter. While Treason is off chasing a wolverine, Cutuk visits the canyon where he saw Enuk's rope....

Chapter 24
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....

Chapter 25
A pack of wolves battles with a moose and finally succeeds in taking her down. They feast until they are nearly too full to move. A hunter races towards them, killing three of them. The hunter's snowmachine dies and the surviving wolves flee into the woods.

Chapter 26
Cutuk puts up with village life by housesitting and doing odd jobs. Melt Wolfglove nearly froze to death the night Lumpy killed himself. Iris and her intuition saved him. He returns to the village a changed man, sober and kind, even to Cutuk....

Chapter 27
A hunter wrecks his plane while shooting a moose in front of Cutuk's home. Cutuk goes for help and returns with Search and Rescue. The hunter offers to give them the moose meat for their troubles if they will mail the antlers to him in Anchorage....

Chapter 28
Cutuk goes in search of Enuk one last time. He discovers a skull and Enuk's rifle. In the wolf den above Enuk's skull he finds a few gold nuggets. He leaves the gold to the porcupine that lives in the den....

Chapter 29
The lone female wolf, now a white wolf, and her offspring watching Cutuk and his dogs "retreating into the land," while the other arctic animals go about their lives in preparation for the coming winter.

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