The Sea-Wolf

by

Jack London

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The Sea-Wolf: Chapter 14 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Van Weyden wonders about the mothers of all the men on the Ghost. Johansen claims that he hasn’t written to his mother in 10 years, and that she must be about 70, though he also claims that people in Sweden grow to be 100 and work the whole time. These are the last words from Johansen that Van Weyden hears.
This section foreshadows that Johansen is going to die. It is ironic that Johansen is talking about Swedish people living to be 100 on the very day he’ll die, reflecting the ways in which life can be unpredictable.
Themes
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Van Weyden gets back to work, but suddenly he sees Wolf Larsen coming over with a head wound and blood on his cheek. Wolf Larsen is looking for Johansen.
The fact that the strong Wolf Larsen has been wounded suggests that something serious is happening on the Ghost—that the crew is at the mercy of powerful forces that even Larsen isn’t strong enough to contend with.
Themes
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Wolf Larsen goes down to check on which sailors are asleep. Leach knows that he will be caught awake, so he leaps on Wolf Larsen; Johnson joins him. More sailors join the fight (some believing Wolf Larsen is actually Johansen), and  the scene becomes a mutiny. Somehow, Wolf Larsen manages to escape his attackers.
This scene shows the danger of Wolf Larsen’s style of leadership—a leader rules by fear is always vulnerable to mutinies and uprisings. In this case, however, Wolf Larsen is strong or perhaps lucky enough to get away from his attackers.
Themes
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Quotes