| The predatory wolf plays a key role in Jack London's thinking. In The Sea-Wolf, Captain Larsen is known by no other name than "Wolf". Wolf Larsen perhaps best represents London's admiration for brute strength — the Nietzschean superman. Unlike Captain Ahab and Lieutenant Bligh, Larsen seems to have no purpose other than to exist. He beats, demeans, and tortures his crew. "Life? Bah!" says Larsen. "It has no value. Of cheap things it is the cheapest. Everywhere it goes begging. Nature spills it out with lavish hand. Where there is room for one life, she sows a thousand lives, and it's life eats life till the strongest and most piggish life is left."
Yet somehow the man remains likeable. He is well-educated without formal schooling, a superb seaman, a powerful and fearless fighter, totally without faith or humility even in the direst circumstances.
|Serialized in The Century Magazine, Jan.-Nov., 1904|
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