The Sea-Wolf Irony

The Sea-Wolf Irony


We can see a huge irony due to kindness in the book. There were a lot of situations when money was more important than human’s life or help. For example, when Humphrey was taken on the “Ghost” board, everyone was so kind to him, but later he realized that all this kindness was for a tip. “A soft light suffused his face and his eyes glistened, as though somewhere in the deeps of his being his ancestors had quickened and stirred with dam memories of tips received in former lives”. When a sailor, who rescued Humphrey became higher ranked than him, this sailor starts to treat him badly, to mob him and all his humanity and kindness vanished. Also, Captain Larsen himself is very strict and cruel to his ship staff. He may even kill a person for disobedience. He neglects human life, and it is not a big deal for him to make a murder. “The big eat the little that they may continue to move, the strong eat the weak that they may retain their strength. The lucky eat the most and move the longest, that is all”.


The story teaches us that fairness does not exist and the stronger wins out over the weaker. A good example is Thomas Mugridge. His story in the book is very sad, because he was never loved, cared, he had no friends and now he works on the “Ghost” with such a cruel captain. “Life had been unfair to him. It had played him a scurvy trick when it fashioned him into the thing he was, and it had played him a scurvy trick ever since”. Nevertheless, by such an examples the story tells us that we must be strong in every situation, whatever happens and only in such a case we may reach a success. “And yet, I aver it, and I aver it again, I was unafraid. The death which Wolf Larsen and even Thomas Mugridge had made me fear, I no longer feared”.

Family relationship

In the book we also can see bad relationship between two brothers – Captain Larsen and his brother. Their contact is so awful that they even want to kill each other. As an example, we can remind the words of the Wolf Larsen about his brother: “…He is a lump of an animal without any head. He has all my-my…all my brutishness…” In this way the author shows that in the ocean there are no friends and relatives, just enemies. Two of these brothers were captains on different ships. Every ship tries to make more money, to beat another ship, to become the richest and in that battle there are no relatives.

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