The Sea-Wolf

by

Jack London

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The Sea-Wolf: Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Van Weyden isn’t sure what to make of Wolf Larsen; he can’t decide whether Larsen is a genius or a primitive man. The cook Mugridge loses all his money in a card game with Wolf Larsen. Wolf Larsen wins $185—exactly what was stolen from Van Weyden, but he refuses to give it back. This prompts Larsen and Van Weyden to argue about ethics.
When Larsen wins an amount of money equivalent to that which Mugridge stole from Van Weyden, he’s teaching Van Weyden a lesson: Van Weyden could have gotten his money back himself if he’d taken the initiative.
Themes
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Quotes
That night, however, Van Weyden deals with the Wolf Larsen and the hunters while Mugridge waits on them. Wolf Larsen and Van Weyden talk about things the hunters don’t understand, which angers the hunters.
Wolf Larsen’s harsh refusal to hand over Van Weyden’s money may seem harsh contrasts with the compassion he exhibits now when he treats Van Weyden well at dinner. This reinforces Larsen’s unpredictability. It also suggests Larsen’s need to be in control.   
Themes
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon