Sea Wolf Essay

Essay Topic 1

Describe what is meant by a materialist and idealist. Which one of the two do you think you are?

Essay Topic 2

Imagine you are stranded on a small islet. How do you think you would survive? What would you have done differently to Brewster and Hump?

Essay Topic 3

Compare the characters of Hump and Larsen. How do their views differ? Are there any similarities between the two characters? Why do you think they both fall for for Brewster?

Essay Topic 4

What difference do you think Brewster's introduction makes to the story? What do you would of happened if Brewster was not introduced into the story?

Essay Topic 5

Discuss the dialogue used in the book. How does London express the differences in education between the characters? Do you think the dialogue represents the characters accurately?

Essay Topic 6

Study Jack London's life. How much of the story do...

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Themes of The Sea Wolf

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The Sea Wolf is a novel written by Jack London. It is a story of how man has to overcome man, and in the face of brutality one must stand strong and not be afraid of the outcome. The Sea Wolf shows us how it is possible to overcome adversity even when it seems impossible. Jack London shows us how not even man can control a free will. For every man has a purpose on this earth, God put us all in the world to make a difference and not be afraid to stand up for beliefs.
Jack London’s belief in God is not entirely evident in the novel, The Sea Wolf as London seems to have ideas but no exact truth. Hump, the main character seems to have been a Christian, but this self taught captain has one theory that he believes throughout the course of the novel. Several long philosophical conversations between Hump and Captain Larsen lead only to more questions that seem to go un-answered. Darwinism is brought up but pushed aside and the Bible is the one book Larsen cannot get his fingers around, "Do you know, I am filled with a strange uplift; I feel as if all time were echoing through me, as though all powers were mine. Know truth, divine good from evil, and right from wrong. My vision is clear and far. I could almost believe in God.” London expresses the idea of believing in God but does not seem like he wants to. Captain Larsen however, shows stubborness in not changing his ways of un-Godliness.
London looks at man with the superman type of way, only the strongest, fittest, and toughest should have the right to survive. Captain Larsen talks of how a man will do anything to sustain his own life, and often will betray even his own beliefs to survive. Larsen does not hesitate in taking someone else’s life, for it is their fault for putting their life in jeopardy. “The continual brutality around me was degenerative in its effect. It bid fair to destroy for me all that was best and brightest in life” Humpfrey stated, after a long day of beatings and seeing men in their most savage moments.

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Sea Wolf         Larsen         Own Life         Main Character         Jack London         Looks         Talks         Conversations         Adversity        




London displays a caring for only the life of his own, willing to allow any act just to survive.
Barbarianism and savagery are repeated acts of the morality held on the vessel Ghost. Instead of having fisherman, it is almost as if Larsen recruited murders and fighters. Living a life of peace on the Ghost almost seems that it might be an impossible task that no one wants to try. “The day had been like a horrible dream. Brutality had followed brutality, and flaming passions and cold-blooded cruelty had driven men to seek one another’s life, and to strive to hurt, and maim, and destroy.” Hump said. Another area where London shows how being a superior being enables you to make it father and reach greater heights in life.
Jack London’s view of how a single man can be superior to another to the point of where he could decide another man’s life is wrong. God is the superior one, he created everyone in his own image, he loves everyone and is the ultimate judge for someone’s actions. The story in the Bible where Saul is trying to find and kill David because he knows that David is suppose to take his position is a story of the same thing. Saul thought he had the right to decide that for himself David’s right to live. David had many chances to kill Saul but David new that Saul would get his own judgment from God. I do not agree with Jack London and his thinking of how a human life can only be valued by one’s self.
Jack London was a genius of his time, but sometimes thinking to much can put man’s heart in the wrong spot. London showed us that he knew of God and that there is a higher being than himself and how God must have created this world but does not express a personal belief. He shows how to him a man can be useless depending on his values and what he has accomplished. He suggests that even if things may not seem fair or just, and men need to quarrel - then quarrel and solve the problem with brutality. God is superior to anyone, he created all, and as fast as he created someone he can have them destroyed but that is only his judgment for there is no one wiser than He. . The Sea Wolf shows us how it is possible to overcome adversity even when it seems impossible. Jack London shows us how not even man can control a free will. Being Human makes capable of sinning, there is no such thing as a perfect anything. Men grow and make mistakes learn from them, regret and them. In The Sea wolf Jack London never displays anyone ever learning from their mistakes, almost as a example of us to realize and take from it.



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