Where the Jackals Howl

by Amos Klausner
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In what ways is "Where the Jackals Howl" pervaded by oppositions, with many hidden connections underlying those oppositions?

"Where the Jackals Howl" is filled with both oppositions and hidden connections, illustrated by the contradictions within characters like Galila and Damkov, by the oppositions in the kibbutz, and by the insertion of the story of the jackals.

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Amos Klausner's story "Where the Jackals Howl" is a strange tale filled with oppositions and connections. Let's look at a few of these.

There are oppositions and connections in the characters. Galila, for instance, is both woman and child. She is afraid of Damkov yet somehow mysteriously drawn to him. Damkov is quite a mystery. He plays with Galila almost like a cat plays with a mouse. He seems to be a productive member of the community, yet he is an outsider. He claims to be easygoing and even acts like it sometimes, yet he is intent upon getting what he wants. He is both "awkward and confused" and intense and even threatening. Damkov finally claims a hidden connection with Galila, telling the young woman that he is her father.

Life in the kibbutz also has its share of oppositions and contradictions. The people work together, yet they are separated by their backgrounds. The land that they work is friendly and open in the daytime but mysterious and even hostile at night, when the jackals roam. There are underlying currents in the community that are strange and possibly hostile, yet they remain beneath the surface, still flowing like the electricity through the wires when the generators are turned on.

The interpolations of the jackals are also filled with oppositions. The cub caught in the trap is filled with life yet doomed to death. He seems to be a symbol of Galila, or at least for what Galila might become if she does not resist Damkov. The other jackals surround the trapped cub, unable to help, experiencing both malicious joy and despair. Eventually, they leave, and night moves in.

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