Nadya embodies the 19th century idea of the Other: she is a woman, and she is an animal. Comfortable in her skin(s), a child of nature in many ways, she cannot fit into the artificial structure and mores of 19th century America. Although Nadya responds without artifice or duplicity to others (Rufus Jones, Elizabeth Metcalf), the priceless honesty she offers is undervalued and rejected. Nadya's search for a place in which she can safely be herself, woman and wolf, takes her across the plains, deserts, and mountains of western America. Fleeing to the utmost extremity of the continent, she stops and stands her ground on the Oregon shore.
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