Julie of the Wolves
by Jean Craighead George
Julie of the Wolves Theme of Admiration
In Julie of the Wolves, our heroine has two heroes: Kapugen and Amaroq. Her father, Kapugen is a great Eskimo hunter, whom she admires for his faithfulness to Eskimo culture and his wisdom about surviving in the wilderness. She admires her adopted wolf-father Amaroq for the affection and loyalty he shows to his pack, and for the fact that he saves her life time and again. But the more you admire someone, the more devastating it can be to find out who he or she really is. It's much easier to admire from afar, in our memories, than it is to admire a flawed and real person, and Miyax is no exception to this rule. When she finally reunites with Kapugen at the end of the novel, she discovers that the man she worshipped for so long does not actually exist. Is there anything more heart wrenching than that?
Questions About Admiration
- Who do you think Miyax admires more – Kapugen or Amaroq? What makes you say that?
- Is there anyone else in the novel Miyax admires or looks up to? How do you know?
- Do you think that the Kapugen Miyax remembers and admires so much ever really existed? Or is he just a figment of her imagination?
- Which loss is more devastating to Miyax – the loss of the father she remembers in Kapugen, or Amaroq's death?
Chew on This
The lesson of Julie of the Wolves is that we should not admire our heroes blindly, without criticism. We'll only end up disappointed.
Miyax's admiration for Kapugen and Amaroq is what keeps her alive on the tundra. Without them to admire, she may have died on her adventure.