The Sea-Wolf

by

Jack London

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Sea-Wolf can help.

Maud Brewster Character Analysis

Maud Brewster is a poet. Wolf Larsen rescues her after a shipwreck leaves her stranded at sea, then he forces her to stay on his vessel, the Ghost. Brewster soon becomes the love interest of Humphrey Van Weyden, a literary critic who is familiar with Brewster’s work, and who is also an unwilling passenger on the Ghost. The presence of a woman on board the Ghost is unusual, but although Wolf Larsen can be a cruel leader, he is often a surprisingly courteous host to Maud Brewster, holding long philosophical discussions with her and Van Weyden about the existence of the soul. One night, however, Wolf assaults Brewster, and soon after, she and Van Weyden steal a small boat to escape. Bad wind takes them to a small, deserted island that they name Endeavour Island. Though Brewster comes from a wealthy background, the harsh circumstances on the island force her to develop new survival skills, and she often surprises Van Weyden with her strength and determination. Their experience on the island helps the two of them grow closer together. Unlike Wolf Larsen, whose “survival of the fittest” instincts drive him to behave cruelly and immorally, the character of Maud Brewster suggests that it is possible to hold on to morality and culture even in life-or-death circumstances.

Maud Brewster Quotes in The Sea-Wolf

The The Sea-Wolf quotes below are all either spoken by Maud Brewster or refer to Maud Brewster. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
).
Chapter 18 Quotes

She seemed to me like a being from another world. I was aware of a hungry out-reaching for her, as of a starving man for bread. But then, I had not seen a woman for a very long time. I know that I was lost in a great wonder, almost a stupor,—this, then, was a woman?—so that I forgot myself and my mate’s duties, and took no part in helping the new-comers aboard.

Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 24 Quotes

He stopped abruptly, and then on his lips formed one of his strange quizzical smiles, as he added:

“It’s from my brain I envy you, take notice, and not from my heart. My reason dictates it. The envy is an intellectual product. I am like a sober man looking upon drunken men, and, greatly weary, wishing he, too, were drunk.”

Related Characters: Wolf Larsen (speaker), Humphrey Van Weyden , Maud Brewster
Page Number: 148
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

Again that unnamable and unmistakable terror was in her eyes, and she said, almost in a whisper, “You are Lucifer.”

Related Characters: Maud Brewster (speaker), Wolf Larsen, Humphrey Van Weyden
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 27 Quotes

I looked at my watch. It was one o’clock. I had slept seven hours! And she had been steering seven hours! When I took the steering-oar I had first to unbend her cramped fingers. Her modicum of strength had been exhausted, and she was unable even to move from her position. I was compelled to let go the sheet while I helped her to the nest of blankets and chafed her hands and arms.

Related Characters: Humphrey Van Weyden (speaker), Maud Brewster, Wolf Larsen
Related Symbols: Wind
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 30 Quotes

“We must club the seals,” I announced, when convinced of my poor marksmanship. “I have heard the sealers talk about clubbing them.”

Related Characters: Humphrey Van Weyden (speaker), Maud Brewster
Related Symbols: Seals
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 32 Quotes

“Hump,” he said slowly, “you can’t do it. You are not exactly afraid. You are impotent. Your conventional morality is stronger than you.”

Related Characters: Wolf Larsen (speaker), Humphrey Van Weyden , Maud Brewster, Death Larsen
Page Number: 202
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 33 Quotes

Giving over his attempt to determine the shadow, he stepped on deck and started forward, walking with a swiftness and confidence which surprised me. And still there was that hint of the feebleness of the blind in his walk. I knew it now for what it was.

Related Characters: Humphrey Van Weyden (speaker), Wolf Larsen, Maud Brewster
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 37 Quotes

“I am still a bit of the ferment, you see,” he wrote a little later.

“I am glad you are as small a bit as you are,” I said.

“Thank you,” he wrote. “But just think of how much smaller I shall be before I die.”

Related Characters: Wolf Larsen (speaker), Humphrey Van Weyden (speaker), Maud Brewster
Page Number: 235
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 38 Quotes

“And immortality?” Maud queried loudly in the ear.

Three times the hand essayed to write but fumbled hopelessly. The pencil fell. In vain we tried to replace it. The fingers could not close on it. Then Maud pressed and held the fingers about the pencil with her own hand and the hand wrote, in large letters, and so slowly that the minutes ticked off to each letter:

“B-O-S-H.”

Related Characters: Maud Brewster (speaker), Wolf Larsen (speaker), Humphrey Van Weyden
Page Number: 236
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 39 Quotes

“One kiss, dear love,” I whispered. “One kiss more before they come.”

“And rescue us from ourselves,” she completed, with a most adorable smile, whimsical as I had never seen it, for it was whimsical with love.

Related Characters: Humphrey Van Weyden (speaker), Maud Brewster (speaker), Wolf Larsen
Related Symbols: Wind
Page Number: 244
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Sea-Wolf LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Sea-Wolf PDF

Maud Brewster Character Timeline in The Sea-Wolf

The timeline below shows where the character Maud Brewster appears in The Sea-Wolf. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 18
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Wolf Larsen asks Van Weyden to take the woman, whose name is Maud Brewster, to the spare port cabin. Maud Brewster asks what will happen to her, and... (full context)
Chapter 19
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
...and Johnson in their small escape boat. Van Weyden learns that the four men and Maud Brewster were on a mail steamer heading from San Francisco to Yokohama before it wrecked... (full context)
Chapter 20
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Maud Brewster continues to sleep. Wolf Larsen puts the other men (three oilers and an engineer)... (full context)
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Maud Brewster recognizes Van Weyden as someone who wrote a positive review of one of her... (full context)
Chapter 21
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Wolf Larsen becomes frustrated when Maud Brewster and Van Weyden ignore him in conversation. He takes out his anger on Mugridge,... (full context)
Chapter 22
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Maud Brewster accuses Van Weyden of standing by while two men (Leach and Johnson) were murdered... (full context)
Chapter 23
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
...Van Weyden thinks of sea romances he’s read before and fantasizes about running away with Maud Brewster. He notes how Maud Brewster and Wolf Larsen are almost exactly the opposites of... (full context)
Chapter 24
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Chapter 25
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
...the Ghost. Wolf Larsen invites the big Scandinavian below decks while telling Van Weyden and Maud Brewster to stay above decks. Van Weyden and Maud Brewster hear the sound of fighting... (full context)
Chapter 26
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Wolf Larsen, Van Weyden, and Maud Brewster talk about why humans do things; Wolf Larsen argues that desire motivates people, but... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Wolf Larsen, Maud Brewster, and Van Weyden continue to discuss philosophy and literature, including the figure of Lucifer... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
...after Van Weyden goes to bed, he wakes up and goes out, only to find Maud Brewster struggling to get out of the embrace of Wolf Larsen. Van Weyden draws his... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
...his bunk. Once he has put Wolf Larsen to bed, Van Weyden comes back to Maud Brewster and says that the only thing left for the two of them is to... (full context)
Chapter 27
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
With good wind, Van Weyden and Maud Brewster are five days away from Japan, but if it storms hard, their small boat... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
...goes to sleep. When he wakes up seven hours later, he’s surprised to find that Maud Brewster has been steering the whole time. Soon, however, the wind begins to blow the... (full context)
Chapter 28
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Van Weyden and Maud Brewster suffer in the small boat and drift around for many hours. It begins to... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
After days of storm, Van Weyden and Maud Brewster find themselves unexpectedly off what seems to be the coast of Alaska. Neither can... (full context)
Chapter 29
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
...fire with some paper from a notebook, a shotgun shell, and a knife. He and Maud Brewster make coffee. (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
While exploring the island, Van Weyden and Maud Brewster find the remains a wrecked boat. Van Weyden tells Maud the boat’s sailors must... (full context)
Chapter 30
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Van Weyden and Maud Brewster spend two weeks on Endeavour Island trying to build a hut. If they want... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Maud doesn’t want to continue clubbing the seals, but Van Weyden continues, this time going for... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Van Weyden and Maud Brewster herd some younger male seals without mates away from their companions and begin clubbing... (full context)
Chapter 31
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Van Weyden and Maud Brewster complete their seal-skin roof. They build a second hut right next to the first.... (full context)
Chapter 32
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
...Ghost. Van Weyden thinks that the crew might still be asleep—which means that he and Maud Brewster might still have time to escape. Instead, he decides to creep aboard the ship... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
...seems to be deserted. Overjoyed, Van Weyden makes plans to cook a surprise breakfast for Maud Brewster. Before he can, though, he runs into Wolf Larsen. (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
...makes sure to take all of his revolvers and knives. Van Weyden goes back to Maud Brewster and they have breakfast as usual. Right at the end she notices the Ghost... (full context)
Chapter 33
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Van Weyden and Maud Brewster wait all day for Wolf Larsen to come out, but he doesn’t come out... (full context)
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Though Maud Brewster was initially afraid of Wolf Larsen, after more time passes, she tells Van Weyden... (full context)
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
...coming up from the galley of the Ghost. Soon, though, even the smoke stops. Before Maud Brewster can say anything, Van Weyden decides to go check on Wolf Larsen again. (full context)
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
...he realizes that Wolf is now blind. He goes back to report the news to Maud Brewster. (full context)
Chapter 34
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Maud Brewster says it’s a shame the Ghost doesn’t have a mast—if it did, they could... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest 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... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism 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... (full context)
Chapter 35
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Van Weyden and Maud Brewster get a mast aboard the Ghost and hoist it. While they’re working on repairing... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
When Van Weyden and Maud Brewster wake the next day, they find that Wolf Larsen has sabotaged some of their... (full context)
Chapter 36
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
For two days, Van Weyden and Maud Brewster search at sea and on beaches for the missing masts. They find them on... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Maud Brewster talks about how she used to be in poor health, and she was traveling... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Van Weyden and Maud Brewster again attempt to repair the masts on the Ghost. This time, they remain on... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
One night, as Wolf Larsen attempts to sabotage Van Weyden and Maud Brewster’s work again, Van Weyden catches him in the act and confronts him. Wolf Larsen... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Maud Brewster and Van Weyden discuss what to do with Wolf Larsen. But as it turns... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
...Larsen, but he gets too close, and Wolf grabs him and tries to choke him. Maud Brewster screams and tries in vain to help while Van Weyden begins to lose consciousness.... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
As Van Weyden returns to his senses, he realizes that Maud Brewster was holding a seal club, ready to attack Wolf Larsen. Van Weyden explains that... (full context)
Chapter 37
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Van Weyden and Maud Brewster move aboard the Ghost, with Wolf Larsen as their prisoner. Van Weyden discovers that... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
...Wolf Larsen that his smile is crooked. He removes Wolf Larsen’s handcuffs, but he and Maud Brewster are still afraid of what Wolf could do, even though they know he’s helpless. (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
...sails and believes everything is now close to being in shape to work. He and Maud Brewster are happy, but Wolf Larsen’s slow death frequently interrupts this happiness.  Wolf Larsen has... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Van Weyden and Maud Brewster complete their work on the masts. But just as they do so, they see... (full context)
Chapter 38
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
...writes “But I am still here, all here,” in text that is difficult to read. Maud Brewster asks Wolf Larsen if he has used his new concentration to contemplate the idea... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Maud Brewster says she wishes everything would end soon, saying that she is only “one, small... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Van Weyden and Maud Brewster finish up with the sails. Van Weyden checks in on the weakening Wolf Larsen... (full context)
Chapter 39
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Van Weyden and Maud Brewster have finally gotten the Ghost ready to leave Endeavour Island. They bid the island... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
Van Weyden and Maud Brewster continue to experience strong winds, and the conditions push the limits of Van Weyden’s... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Materialism vs. Idealism Theme Icon
Survival of the Fittest Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
The storm breaks, and Van Weyden and Maud Brewster have a funeral at sea for Wolf Larsen. Afterward, they throw his body into... (full context)
Self-Reliance and Maturation Theme Icon
Love, Duty, and Choice Theme Icon
After the funeral, Van Weyden and Maud Brewster see a ship from the United States, and Van Weyden raises a distress flag.... (full context)