Born Naked Summary
by Farley Mowat

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Born Naked

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Farley Mowat is the highly respected author of numerous books that describe the natural world and man’s encounter with it in gripping detail, including THE DOG WHO WOULDN’T BE (1957), OWLS IN THE FAMILY (1961), NEVER CRY WOLF (1963), A WHALE FOR THE KILLING (1972), and SEA OF SLAUGHTER (1984). Mowat was born in 1921, in Trenton, Ontario, Canada, to Angus Mowat and Helen Mowat. Angus Mowat loved adventure and moved his family on several occasions when he was offered a more prestigious librarian position. Helen Mowat was affectionate toward her only son, but her health suffered because of her husband’s inability to remain faithful to her. Farley was first introduced to the wilderness by his father’s enthusiasm for hunting and sailing. The young Mowat became obsessed with observing birds and animals and brought many of these wild creatures home to be pets.

In 1933, the family moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, where Mowat’s father had a post as chief librarian. Farley had become acclimated to the woods of Ontario, but he would now have to adjust to the plains of Saskatchewan. His curiosity for wildlife, though, could not be diminished by the change of scenery. It is made clear by Mowat that he felt a closer affinity for the creatures he encountered than for other individuals of his own age. Mowat expresses with great humor his awkwardness in dealing with other children. Although Mowat had to endure his share of childhood trauma, it was buffered by his love for nature. In BORN NAKED, Mowat makes clear how his passion for the natural world became the foundation on which a successful writing career was built.