Julie of the Wolves
by Jean Craighead George
Julie of the Wolves Theme of Isolation
Julie of the Wolves hands us one of the most isolated characters in all of young adult fiction. For page after page, Miyax is literally the only human being within hundreds of miles. But even in her childhood she experiences isolation of a different sort. Her youth is by no means typical, as she's caught between two cultures and feels the pull of both of them. Because of this struggle, she can't quite fit in with her peers. Still, it's worth noting that when she's lost on the tundra, Miyax eventually makes the choice to be alone (for a while at least). And can you blame her? Practically everyone around her has hurt her or left her, so maybe she figures she'd be better off by herself.
Questions About Isolation
- When do you think Miyax feels most lonely or isolated? Is it a good feeling or a bad one? How do you know?
- What are the different types of isolation she experiences throughout the novel? Can you tie these different types to specific events?
- Why do you think Miyax chooses to live alone in an ice house after Amaroq dies? Do you think this is a good decision?
- Are there moments when she's lost on the tundra that Miyax, though isolated from other humans, doesn't feel lonely? How can you tell?
Chew on This
Miyax chooses to isolate herself from society because everyone around her has failed her in one way or another. She can only be happy if she has only herself to rely on.
Miyax feels loneliest not on the tundra, when she's totally isolated, but among her family, whom she doesn't really love.