“It’s a unique phenomenon when a male becomes a man so late in life–probably because if he never truly became a man when most do, he likely never will. He certainly won’t seek out someone to father him like his own father failed to do, and if one such person appears on the scene he will likely avoid the man in a mechanism of defense.” (Christine Weber) When readers first encounter Humphrey Van Weyden, he measures up to almost no man. Throughout the novel The Sea Wolf, “Hump” as he’s nicknamed by Wolf Larsen transforms into much more than a man, Hump becomes his own Superman. His profound transformation into Humphrey Van Weyden-- man, can be credited to his experiences aboard Ghost and interactions with the crew.
On first impression, Hump is a far cry from debonair. He is portrayed as cowardly and faint-hearted. The sinking of the ferryboat evidences this. As the boat begins to sink, Hump sees people screaming, including a multitude of women. Hump likens this to “the squealing of pigs under the knife of the butcher.” (Jack London) This startles Hump so much that he must remove himself by running out on deck to regain his composure. Once the ferry sinks, Hump is left floating in the dark, cold water. “I was alone, floating in the midst of a grey primordial vastness, I confess a madness seized me, that I shrieked aloud as the women had done, and beat the water with my numb hands.”(Jack London) It becomes clear that Humphrey has never been alone, and he is afraid to be. He has never been able to fend for himself and test his abilities. Hump doesn’t know what he is truly capable of.
After the ferry sinks, Hump is rescued by the ship Ghost, under the command of Wolf Larsen. Once he is taken aboard, two sailors revive Hump. One of...
... middle of paper ...
... a man who is no longer absent to reality, but in a much more real sense, now driven by it.
Auerbach, Jonathan. Male Call: Becoming Jack London. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 1996. Print.
Barrish, Phillip. The Cambridge Introduction to American Literary Realism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2011. Print.
Deane, Paul. "Jack London: The Paradox of Individualism." New York State English Council, Oswego 19.2 (1968): 14-19. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.
London, Jack. The Sea Wolf, Etc. [A Novel.]. Macmillan Co.: New York; Macmillan &:
London, 1904. Print.
Sauble, Margaret. "The Sea Wolf's Humphrey Van Weyden: From Meek to Man."Suite101.com. Suite 101, 25 Nov. 2013. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.
Weber, M. Christine. "Humphrey Weyden And Wolf Larsen | M. Christine Weber." M Christine Weber RSS. N.p., 15 Apr. 2010. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Jack London's Sea Wolf, The Call of the Wild, and White Fang Jack London lived a full life, even though he died at the young age of forty. In his life time he experienced many things, and I believe that these experiences were the catalyst of his novels. Jack London was an oyster pirate, a government patrolman in San Francisco Bay, a sailor and an agrarian reformer, a seal hunter in the North Pacific and a gold prospector in the frozen Klondike, a war correspondent and a prizefighting reporter, a socialist soapbox orator who later became a lecturer at universities, a family man and landowner, and of course a true American writer.... [tags: Jack London Wolf Wild Fang Essays]
2880 words (8.2 pages)
- In Jack London’s The Sea-Wolf (1992), a young Humphrey Van Weyden is thrown overboard from the ship, the Martinez, in a collision with a ferryboat. After he struggled in the cool San Francisco Bay he is pulled into a seal-hunting ship, the Ghost. On the ship the captain, Wolf Larsen, and Van Weyden become intellectual friends. As the voyage continues Larsen and Van Weyden start to become enemies because of their disagreement in the philosophy of Captain Larsen. The captain and Van Weyden are both well-educated men but differ in strength and desire.... [tags: Shipwreck, Captain, Sailor]
590 words (1.7 pages)
- Transformation of Humphrey Van Weyden in Jack London’s The Sea Wolf Jack London’s The Sea Wolf is in some ways a philosophical text and a product of its time. The strain it puts on the reader between a social Darwinist and utilitarian perspective against that of a more idealistic one is great. Many times the character of Wolf Larsen is a more consistent articulator of the Darwinian position and seems to always be getting the upper hand argumentatively. However, it is due to a phenomenological outlook on the events presented within The Sea Wolf that the alternative becomes intelligible.... [tags: Sea Wolf]
1240 words (3.5 pages)
- Forgotten The Sea Wolf is a novel written by Jack London. It is a story of how man has to overcome man, and in the face of brutality one must stand strong and not be afraid of the outcome. The Sea Wolf shows us how it is possible to overcome adversity even when it seems impossible. Jack London shows us how not even man can control a free will. For every man has a purpose on this earth, God put us all in the world to make a difference and not be afraid to stand up for beliefs. Jack London’s belief in God is not entirely evident in the novel, The Sea Wolf as London seems to have ideas but no exact truth.... [tags: Jack London]
862 words (2.5 pages)
- The Power of The Sea-Wolf Jack London’s novel, The Sea-Wolf, has many different interpretations. The story can be read as a combination of the naturalistic novel and the sentimental romance, both very popular around the turn of the century. London also brings into play literary naturalism, in which human beings are characterized as just another species in nature, subject to all of Her cosmic forces. The Sea-Wolf fits almost perfectly the archetypal pattern of an initiation story. Depth and interest are added to The Sea-Wolf by successfully integrating these three elements -- the combination of two popular genres, literary naturalism, and the initiation story.... [tags: Sea-Wolf Essays]
983 words (2.8 pages)
- Jack London was born in the late 19th century, near San Francisco. Jack’s Parent’s divorced when he was young; when his mother remarried they travelled around California looking for work. Although London and his family were poor, he didn’t let that stop him from being one of the most well-known authors in American history. Jack London threw ought his life wroth many books the most notable was Call of the wild. Call of the Wild Was set mostly in the Alaska gold rush of 1898, where over 100,000 people attempted to go to the Klondike Region to find gold(Klondike 1), of that 60,000 died on their way and only 30,000 actually made it (1).... [tags: call of the wild, alaska, jack london]
876 words (2.5 pages)
- Jack London was an American author, born in 1876 and died at the early age of forty from uremia poisoning, in 1916. Throughout London’s life his novels and short stories impacted American authors and their literature. London began one of his many careers, writing, at twenty-one years old with his first short story, Two Gold Bricks, published in Owl Magazine. Some of the novels and short stories he is recognized for include: The Call of the Wild, White Fang, To build a Fire and Sea-Wolf. Jack London’s most frequently read short story, To Build a Fire, is the best example of London’s use of man vs.... [tags: naturalist, marx, author]
846 words (2.4 pages)
- The crew of the seal hunting ship the Ghost stood in disbelief as they gazed upon their recently departed first mate. Then a most unusual thing occurred. The captain began yelling at the dead man like a raging storm. Oaths rolled from his lips in a continuous stream. And they were not nice and thoughtful words or mere expressions of indecency. Each word was a blasphemy, and there were many words. It is this lack of remorse for others that defines Wolf Larsen, the antagonist in The Seal Wolf by Jack London.... [tags: essays research papers]
746 words (2.1 pages)
- Jack London The story of Jack London's life really is one of rags to riches. He was born in San Francisco on January 12, 1876 as John Griffith Chaney. I'd like to take you through the story of his life and examine a few of his significant literary works along the way. The Dictionary of Literary Biography Volume 78 says that "the biographical consensus is that his father was William Henry Chaney, a "Professor of Astrology" with whom his mother, Flora Wellman, was living as a fellow spiritualist and common-law wife in 1875." (DOLB 78).... [tags: Biography]
1080 words (3.1 pages)
- Jack London fought his way up out of the factories and waterfront dives of West Oakland to become the highest paid, most popular novelist and short story writer of his day. He wrote passionately and prolifically about the great questions of life and death, the struggle to survive with dignity and integrity, and he wove these elemental ideas into stories of high adventure based on his own firsthand experiences at sea, or in Alaska, or in the fields and factories of California. As a result, his writing appealed not to the few, but to millions of people all around the world.... [tags: essays research papers]
1745 words (5 pages)