The Individual Vs. Society : Wolf Larsen 's Battle Against His Crew And Himself

1986 Words Nov 14th, 2016 8 Pages
The Individual VS. Society: Wolf Larsen’s Battle Against His Crew and Himself “I looked at him, the man who had been hurled down from the topmost pitch of life to be buried alive and be worse then dead” ( London 364). These are some of the last words the protagonist, Humphrey van Weyden, thinks of the antagonist, Wolf Larsen, at the end of Jack London’s, 1904 adventure novel, The Sea-Wolf. Nearing the end of his tale, Van Weyden looks at Larsen, a man who seemed like an unbeatable monster, defeated by what we can only guess to have been a brain tumor. There is no control over who dies to a disease like this, but Wolf Larsen’s death could be more then it seems. With careful analyzation one can dig deeper and see what Jack London might have really been trying to convey to his readers through Wolf Larsen death and events leading up to it. Wolf Larsen, the terrifying, cruel, and dominate individualist of The Sea-Wolf was not simply defeated because he had a brain tumor, but because he was an aggressive lone wolf who lacked friendship, love, loyalty, and family, and this is shown through his encounters with Humphrey van Weyden, Maud Brewster, his crew, his brother Death, and even himself. First and foremost one of the leading aspects of Wolf Larsen’s Individualist downfall/death was his conflict with the protagonist, representative socialist, and his failed attempt in friendship, Humphrey Van Weyden. We are first introduced to the smart young literary critic, Humphrey van…

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