The Sea-Wolf

by

Jack London

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The Sea-Wolf: Chapter 34 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Maud Brewster says it’s a shame the Ghost doesn’t have a mast—if it did, they could sail way on the ship. Van Weyden wonders if there’s a way to fix the masts. He and Maud make plans and discuss what to do with blind Wolf Larsen.
Brewster provides the inspiration for many of Van Weyden’s ideas on the island, showing how cooperation can lead to new discoveries.
Themes
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Van Weyden and Maud Brewster begin repairing the Ghost. Wolf Larsen comes out and asks what they’re doing. He is pleased that Van Weyden is trying to stand on his own legs but doubts he’ll succeed. Wolf Larsen says he forbids anyone from touching his ship.
Wolf Larsen’s speech here illustrates his many contradictions. On the one hand, he wants Van Weyden to succeed, but on the other, he wants to stop Van Weyden from doing what he needs to do to succeed. Much of Larsen’s misery seems to come from his inability to navigate his competing desires.
Themes
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Wolf Larsen then greets Maud Brewster, unable to see her in his blindness but having heard her breathing. Van Weyden asks why Wolf Larsen doesn’t want to escape with them, but Wolf Larsen just says he intends to die there on the ship.
Though it might make sense for Wolf Larsen to try to escape with Brewster and Van Weyden, Larsen is too set in his pessimistic ways to join them. Perhaps he even feels that he deserves death because he was bested by Death Larson.
Themes
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon