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Written by Timothy Sexton
The old Sea Wolf himself, Wolf Larsen is the captain of the Ghost. The Ghost and its crew are engaged in the vicious task of hunting seals and Larsen seems particularly apt for such missions. Larsen is a materialist in the truest sense of the word: anything that it is materially existent is of little use to him. This includes concepts like morality and ethics. He is fierce, driven and verging on downright evil; a brutally autocratic master of ship and crew. At the same time, however, Larsen proves himself just a fiercely independent and courageous and ultimately it is this side of his demonic personality that earns the respect of the narrator of the novel.
Humphrey Van Weyden
The narrator is more popularly known as simply as “Hump.” He joins the crew of the Ghost after being picked up as the survivor of a shipwreck. Of a higher class and far more distinctively gentlemanly in nature than Larsen, he may be viewed as the ultimate polar opposite to the Sea Wolf. Rather surprisingly, Hump admits to being viewed as a sissy at school which only serves to intensify the sadistic attitude the Captain holds him toward him. The narration of the novel is in the form of a written record; Humphrey is more than just a sissified gent; he is a sensitive author whose tale is one of romance as well the discovery of deep sources of courage and pluckiness that neither he nor Larsen expected existed beneath such a soft exterior.
Something is very weird about the Ghost. Not only does the ship carry the crew on its mission to hunt seals, but it has a strange habit of picking up shipwreck survivor who happen to be writers. Maud Brewster is both another rescued survivor and another writer. She also happens to be the romantic interest of Hump. She too is both repulsed and somewhat mesmerized by Wolf’s nature; he is pure evil, but carries that evil within personality that is a f0rce of nature to be reckoned with and, on a certain primal level, respected. Eventually, she and Hump will fall in love and work in tandem to reject the dying Larsen’s efforts to obstruct their attempt at escape.
A Cockney cook to whom Hump is assigned to earn his keep aboard the Ghost. The Cockney takes an immediate dislike to the sissified writer, but partly because Hump enjoyed gentlemanly privilege that escaped the lower class Mugridge. He is a bully who comes close to killing Van Weyden, but eventually the tables are definitively turned.
Johnson and Leach
Leach is the former cabin boy who attempts at one point to kill Mugridge and Johnson is a sailor who is brutally beaten by the officers. Together they attempt a mutiny against Larsen, but both become the plaything of the sadistic skipper after they try to escape.
The Sea-Wolf Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Sea-Wolf is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
You need to submit your questions one at a time. The narrator is more popularly known as simply as “Hump.” He joins the crew of the Ghost after being picked up as the survivor of a shipwreck. Of a higher class and far more distinctively...
Something is very weird about the Ghost. Not only does the ship carry the crew on its mission to hunt seals, but it has a strange habit of picking up shipwreck survivor who happen to be writers. Maud Brewster is both another rescued survivor and...