Julie of the Wolves
by Jean Craighead George
Julie of the Wolves Theme of Man and the Natural World
Okay, by man, we mean girl. Miyax, to be precise. In Julie of the Wolves, the bulk of the action takes place in the wilderness, and the only human around is Miyax. She comes up against just about every challenge the natural world can throw at a person: wildlife, weather, disorientation, hunger. You name it, and our girl's survived it. But you know what the best part is? At the end of it, she doesn't want to lock herself in a skyscraper and never look at a blade of grass again. In fact, she wants to do just the opposite. Despite the fact that she spent months struggling to survive, she's come to love the natural world and all it has to offer her. She's a rare bird, that Miyax.
Questions About Man and the Natural World
- Why does Miyax fall so in love with the natural world? Why doesn't she grow to hate the wilderness, after being lost in it for months and months?
- What are some of the ways the natural world helps Miyax on her journey? On what occasion does she find the natural world most valuable?
- Do you think Kapugen might still have the same admiration for the wilderness that Miyax does? Or does the fact that he hunts from an airplane and has electricity mean that he's lost all respect for the natural world?
- Do you think Miyax should have been better prepared for her journey? Or was she just prepared enough? What, in the novel, makes you sure of your answer?
Chew on This
The natural world represents freedom in this novel. On the tundra, Miyax is free to make her own choices and do what she pleases because society isn't around to tell her otherwise.
Regardless of all Miyax's admiration and wonder, the natural world in Julie of the Wolves represents danger. The only reason Miyax survived for so long was sheer luck.