The Sea-Wolf

by

Jack London

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The Sea-Wolf: Chapter 21 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Wolf Larsen becomes frustrated when Maud Brewster and Van Weyden ignore him in conversation. He takes out his anger on Mugridge, who runs around the ship to try to escape punishment, hurting the other sailors in the process. Ultimately, Wolf Larsen throws Mugridge into the sea. Mugridge nearly drowns, and a shark bites off his foot. Seeing this violence shocks Maud Brewster. Van Weyden does what he can to stop the bleeding and treat Mugridge’s wound.
Though Wolf Larsen is well-read, he’s frustrated to find that he can’t talk about books on the same level as Brewster and Van Weyden, whose class privilege has afforded them formal educations. One might interpret Wolf Larsen’s encouragement of the violence against Mugridge as Larsen redirecting the frustration about Maud and Van Weyden’s rejection. 
Themes
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon