The Sea-Wolf

by

Jack London

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The Sea-Wolf: Chapter 15 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Leach, Johnson, and the other mutinying sailors wonder what to do next now that Wolf Larsen got away. A messenger arrives, announcing that Wolf Larsen wants to see Van Weyden in the captain’s quarters. Van Weyden agrees to come. He finds that Wolf Larsen is naked and expecting Van Weyden to treat his wounds.
Wolf Larsen’s nakedness reflects his new vulnerability. He has just been injured, first by a head wound, then by a mutinying mob, and now the famously self-reliant captain needs help to have his wounds treated.
Themes
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Van Weyden marvels at Wolf Larsen’s muscular body and says God made him well, but Wolf Larsen argues that the only explanation for his strength is its usefulness. Then, he announces that he needs a new mate and that Van Weyden is getting a promotion. Van Weyden tries to protest, but Wolf Larsen’s mind seems made up.
Many ocean adventure stories, such as Moby-Dick by Herman Melville and Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad have been interpreted as having elements of homosexual romance beneath the surface, and it is possible to read The Sea-Wolf with a similar subtext (since Van Weyden becomes Wolf Larsen’s “mate”).
Themes
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon