The Sea-Wolf

by

Jack London

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The Sea-Wolf: Chapter 24 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In retrospect, Van Weyden has a particularly strong memory of the events that occurred immediately after he realized that he loved Maud Brewster. A new ship approaches the Ghost, and Van Weyden worries it might be a Russian cruiser, since Wolf Larsen has a reputation for as a poacher. Wolf Larsen, however, believes the approaching ship is the Macedonia, the ship of his brother, Death Larsen—and he’s correct.
The name “Death” Larsen suggests that this character’s arrival will be a dangerous time. The name of Death Larsen’s ship—the Macedonia—recalls the famous general Alexander the Great (who was from Macedonia) and suggests that Death Larsen intends to rule the seas like a general from classical times.
Themes
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
The Macedonia has more boats than the Ghost, allowing it to hunt far more seals than the Ghost—and leaving very few seals behind for Wolf Larsen and his crew to hunt. Wolf Larsen and Maud Brewster argue about eternal life. Like Van Weyden, Maud Brewster believes in a soul, but Wolf Larsen remains committed to his materialism (the philosophy that only the physical world exists and that there are no souls or heaven).
Perhaps because Death Larsen is more ruthless and uncompromising than his brother Wolf, Death comes to the confrontation with more resources. He tries to dominate Wolf in the same way that Wolf tries to dominate his own crew, showing how in a survival-of the-fittest contest, there will almost always be someone even higher up on the food chain.
Themes
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Quotes