The Sea-Wolf Social Concerns

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At the age of seventeen, Jack London shipped out on a seven-month voyage aboard the sealing schooner Sophia Sutherland. Out of this experience, London created The Sea-Wolf, a powerful, symbolic novel of action and ideas in which he examines the class structure of American society, the conflict between materialism and idealism, the effective social limits of Nietzschean philosophy, and the function of the artist.

London remembered the hardships of his own years as a laborer, and the schooner Ghost is a microcosm of American industrialized society, a place in which the crewmen are brutalized by the conditions of their work and the cruelty of Captain Wolf Larsen.

But by introducing the wealthy artists Humphrey van Weyden and Maud Brewster, London shows that the safety of privilege can also be debilitating.

The philosophical conflict between the protagonist Humphrey van Weyden and the antagonist Wolf Larsen explores the merits of...

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This section contains 165 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Sea-Wolf Study Guide
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