Wolves have been widely misunderstood throughout time, causing a rapid decline in their population. In recent years, due to legal protection, the population of wolves has increased, but many species of wolves remain endangered.
Wolves have suffered almost to the point of extinction. They are powerful creatures and symbols, predators associated with destruction. The "big bad wolf" has become an archetype of danger appearing in fables, fairy tales, and fiction. Some examples are The Boy Who Cried Wolf from Aesop's Fables, and Little Red Riding Hood from Grimm's Fairy Tales. Jack London's White Fang, however, tells a story through the eyes of the wolf, exploring the view of the wolf's world, the human world, and the violence that ensues from both sides. Popular wolf sayings include "never cry wolf," "thrown to the wolves," and "wolf it down," among others.
In this photo essay, Norwegian photographer, Christian Houge, explores man's relationship to the wolf. Houge also reflects that, due to the effects of modern technology and development, we can become disconnected from our primal instincts. Cultural beliefs have started to shift as we begin to understand the role of wolves in the larger ecosystem. Population numbers have risen due to conservation efforts, but the wolf remains endangered.
Connections to National Standards
Common Core English Language Arts. SL.9-10.1 and SL.11-12.1. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and instructor-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 [or 11-12] topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies. D2.Geo.6.9-12. Evaluate the impact of human settlement activities on the environmental and cultural characteristics of specific places and regions.
Next Generation Science Standards. HS-LS2-8. Evaluate the evidence for the role of group behavior on individual and species' chances to survive and reproduce.