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Is there a human need for companionship with other people or animals?

Can a lone wolf thrive?

Do your favorite book characters seek companionship?  Do they find commitment or a loose association that benefits both partners?  

Do the partners respect each other or is one at the beck and call of the other?

Can we identify with the lone wolf sometimes?

If we are a bit lonely ourselves do book characters help us?  Do we enjoy delving into the minds and hearts of others?  Do we learn from them?

Do lone wolf characters touch our heart?  Do we respect them?  Do we insist that they must find a special friend or significant other?  Do we fear for them?

In Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Jo seems to be a bit thorny to other people and to her family especially Aunt March.  Jo likes Laurie, but she tells him the truth when he plays the young lord with friends from college.  When he begs her to marry him, she refuses.  Many of us were upset when we read the book.  Many of us thought that the Professor Bhaer was too old for the rambunctious Jo.  Some of us wondered if Jo, like the author, might do well without marrying.  But the part of the book where Jo is up in the attic with the four trunks sticks in our mind.  Jo was lonely and she wanted a life-long companion whom she could respect.  In the Professor she found a man who would tell her the truth, who liked children, who was true to himself and who loved her. Now that I am older, I can understand why Jo married him.

Joan Bauer has written several excellent young adult stories.  In her story Backwater there is a lady who is a lone wolf whose name is Jo.  Perhaps the name is a coincidence or perhaps a tribute to Alcott's Jo.

…While compiling a genealogy of her family of successful attorneys, sixteen-year-old history buff Ivy Breedlove treks into the mountain wilderness to interview a reclusive aunt with whom she identifies and who in turn helps her to truly know herself and her family.
Do we want lone wolves to be captured, tamed, brought back to civilization or do we hope for their freedom from some of the false parts of life?

Is there a touch of the lone wolf in all of us that makes us independent and proud?  

A favorite poem of mine:

Lone Dog

Irene Rutherford Mcleod

I'm a lean dog, a keen dog, a wild dog, and lone;
I'm a rough dog, a tough dog, hunting on my own;
I'm a bad dog, a mad dog, teasing silly sheep;
I love to sit and bay the moon, to keep fat souls from sleep.

I'll never be a lap dog, licking dirty feet,
A sleek dog, a meek dog, cringing for my meat,
Not for me the fireside, the well-filled plate,
But shut door, and sharp stone, and cuff and kick, and hate.

Not for me the other dogs, running by my side,
Some have run a short while, but none of them would bide.
O mine is still the lone trail, the hard trail, the best,
Wide wind, and wild stars, and hunger of the quest!

Are some writers lone wolves?  
Robert Frost

Robert Frost is America's most beloved poet. He considered himself a "lone wolf." While other poets were clinging to schools of poetry, he clung only to poetry itself.

Linda Sue Grimes

It is said that a person can be lonely in a crowd so just because someone is surrounded by family and work mates does not necessarily mean they are not a lone wolf at heart.

In the Lee Child series, Jack Reacher travels the country alone.  His brother is rarely heard from in the first books and a man who mentored him has died.  That man leaves Jack a house.  In the story, Jack tries his best to settle down.  He can’t do it.

He reaches out to people as he travels, but essentially, he prefers nothing but a toothbrush in his pocket and when he gets the urge to move along, he does.

Are traveling companions in other stories really companions or two lone wolves who help each other?  

In my homework writing for Sensible Shoes at Write On! I have written the adventures of two characters who travel together.  One is a callow youth who perhaps has not figured out yet just how callow he is.  The other character is a troll ala Shrek.  The troll is competent and hates being used.  SS says he is the real hero and I have to agree.  But are both of my characters essentially lone wolves who were thrown together and are still trying to get comfortable with each other on the journey?  I have tried to show that they have grown to care about each other.  

In The Lord of the Rings, Gimli, a dwarf, and Legolas, an elf, are always arguing because the history of their communities is one of enmity.  Faced with a common enemy, they become friends.  

In the story Enemy Mine by Barry Longyear the two characters must help each other to survive.

The story of a man, incomplete in himself, taught to be a human by his sworn enemy, an alien being who leaves with the human its most important possession: its future.
The trilogy:

   Enemy Papers series
      Enemy Mine
      Tomorrow Testament
      Last Enemy

Are famous wizards lone wolves?  Gandalf, Merlin?

Is it past time to make the lone wolf respectable?  To recognize the lone wolf in ourselves?  What do you think?

Wiki says there is a Lone Wolf game:

Lone Wolf is a series of 28 gamebooks, created by Joe Dever and initially illustrated (books 1-8) by Gary Chalk. The series began publishing in July 1984 and sold more than 9 million copies worldwide.

The story focuses on the fictional world of Magnamund, where the forces of good and evil fight for control of the planet. The protagonist is Lone Wolf, last of his caste of warrior monks known as Kai Lords. The book series is written in the second person and recounts Lone Wolf's adventures as if the reader is the main character. As Lone Wolf, the reader makes choices at regular intervals throughout the story which then change the course, and the final outcome, of the book.

Although the series ceased publication and went out of print in 1998, a fan-operated organization called Project Aon was established in 1999 which has subsequently converted many of the books to HTML format. Joe Dever gave his permission for Project Aon to distribute the books online via the internet. Subsequently, there has been a strong revival of interest in Lone Wolf, particularly in Italy, Spain, and France where the books were republished between 2002 and 2006. In 2007, Mongoose Publishing has announced that all of the Lone Wolf books, including books 29-32 which were never published, are being printed.

Several adaptations also exist of the Lone Wolf series, including a D20-style role-playing game from Mongoose Publishing Ltd UK, the company which is currently republishing the original Lone Wolf gamebooks.

The series was also converted into different computer games. The newest project announced will see Lone Wolf going on various platforms, from PC to next-gen consoles and iPhone in 2013. Created by the Italian company Forge Reply, the new game was announced on August 18, 2011 at the Gamescom convention in Cologne.
In July 2009, Convergence Entertainment, a company best known for the live action King of Fighters film, announced that it had secured the rights to make a live-action movie based on the Lone Wolf series.

I don't play games, but someone here might know if this is a good one.

The mystery series by Susan Hill that has Simon Serrailler as the hero has been exploring whether Simon is a lone wolf or if he might wish to connect with a woman whom he can marry.  It has been interesting to consider what his needs are.  So far he has needed his solitude to rest up after difficult cases are solved.

Who are your favorite lone wolves?

Diaries of the Week:

Write On! Of drafts and characters.
by SensibleShoes

Kos Katalogue: Support Small and Micro Business
by Sara R

Monday Murder Mystery: Brother Cadfael
by pimutant

NOTE: plf515 has book talk on Wednesday mornings early

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Progressive Friends of the Library Newsletter.


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