Julie of the Wolves
by Jean Craighead George
Julie of the Wolves Theme of Family
In Julie of the Wolves, Miyax's family is small, to say the least. Not counting strict Aunt Martha, it's really just the father-daughter pair of Miyax and Kapugen that makes up the central family of the book. That is, until the wolves enter the picture. Soon they, too, become a part of Miyax's family. She gets an adopted father in Amaroq, and an adopted brother in Kapu. But of course having a wolf for a sibling doesn't fit into any kind of traditional notion of family that we know of. But maybe that's just it. Maybe Miyax's experiences are meant to teach us that families are found in the unlikeliest of places.
Questions About Family
- How do you think Miyax would define family? Where in the novel do we get an idea of what she thinks a family is?
- What do you imagine Miyax's life would have been like if her whole family had stayed together? In other words, if her mother hadn't died, and her father hadn't set out for a new life, where would our heroine be now?
- Do you think Miyax thinks of Daniel, Nusan, and Naka as family? Why or why not?
- Do you think Miyax, Kapugen, and Ellen have a chance at coming together as a family after the end of the novel? Why or why not?
Chew on This
Miyax's time with the wolves is meant to show us that families are made, not inherited. Amaroq is more of a father to her than Kapugen ever was or will be.
Miyax's true family was the wolf pack, and unfortunately this means she can never find a real sense of family among humans.