John - A Wolfchild? 01_21_2010

The Wolf Children

Children, who grow up far away from any civilization and without or with bare human contact are called “Wolf Children”.
Most of the known cases are not verified completely and not all of those children have truly been brought up by wolves. Some have been expelled by their parents or have been kept under arrest.
Nevertheless it is true that most of these children have never had any experience with proximity, language or emotional skills.
This was discovered when explorers and scientists made all kinds of experiments with those children.

The most popular case in recent history is the two wolf children called Kamala and Amala from India. They were found by missionary Joseph Singh in a cave were they lived together with a pride of wolves. Kamala was about 7 years old and Amala about 18 month old. Singh brought them to an orphanage were he closely watched their behavior and documented everything in his diary.
The two girls showed wolf-typical manners around human beings. They scratched and bit, didn’t eat cooked food, never talked, denied clothes and walked on all fours. They couldn’t fit in into their new environment and were never really approachable for other human beings.
Amala died just one year after the two had been found of kidney disease. Kamala showed a behavior that could be called grief and became more trusting. She learned a few words and to walk tall on her feed. She died 9 years later of typhus.

Compared to Aldous Huxley’s novel “Brave New World” the people living in the Savage, including John, could be something like “Wolf Children” in the eyes of the people from the World State. They live far away from a normal civilization, don’t participate in anything and have their own strange rituals. They don’t feel like strangers because they are used to live like this.
The situation becomes complicated when the two cultures, the Savage people and the World State people, meet. They speak the same language, so they are able to communicate, but they do so on several different levels. They have different opinions on sex and moral, for example. John, who is in a way fascinated by Lenina, a girl from the World State and really becomes attached to her, is also ashamed by her sexual advances. He isn’t able to order his feelings, he adores and blames her. He cannot deal with this new situation. He freaks out and
attacks her. His insecurity and his feeling not to belong to the new World State finally conclude in his suicide.
John does definitely has some character trades, that make him look like some kind of Wolf child. But other things like him being able to read don’t match with the image of a Wolf child.

It is not easy, if not completely impossible for a human being to change a whole lifestyle. We are all creatures of habit and like what we have. Of course some changes are inevitable and interesting, but these are small changes like getting a different haircut or moving to another city.
All things that we are used to, that we learned when we were children are burned into our brain and cannot be redone. If somebody tries to change things like that, it can only do harm to us unless we are willing to let the change happen.

(Alina)

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