Julie of the Wolves
by Jean Craighead George
Julie of the Wolves Theme of Identity
Miyax or Julie. Well, which is it, for Pete's sake? It's clear that the heroine of Julie of the Wolves is less than sure about her own identity. She literally has two names, and switches between them depending on her surroundings. Of course these two names represent the two competing tugs on her poor little heartstrings. Miyax stands for her Eskimo heritage and all its beautiful traditions. It's who she's been for most of her childhood. Julie symbolizes the coming modern world, and all the technological advancement that comes with the spread of civilization. It's who, in the second part of the novel, our protagonist struggles to become. But in the end, which will she choose to be? Clearly we're not going to spoil that one for you. Read the book!
Questions About Identity
- Who do you think our protagonist really is – Miyax or Julie? When is she most Miyax? And when is she most Julie?
- Why does our girl call herself Julie at the very end?
- How does Miyax/Julie create her sense of identity? How does she know who she is?
- If you had to describe Miyax/Julie, what would you say? What qualities does she possess that are key to understanding her identity?
Chew on This
Whether she likes it or not, Miyax will always be Miyax. She can't just sweep her Eskimo heritage under the rug. It has contributed more to her identity than any other factor.
Whether she likes it or not, becoming Julie is unavoidable for Miyax. The progress of civilization is far stronger than cultural traditions.