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Julie of the Wolves

Julie of the Wolves

by Jean Craighead George

Analysis: What's Up With the Title?

Here's the question Shmoop has been dying to know the answer to, ever since we picked up this book and read the first sentence: Why is it called Julie of the Wolves? Why not Miyax of the Wolves? Wouldn't that make much more sense? After all, when she's with the wolves, the narrator always refers to her as Miyax.

We don't have an answer for that one. Frankly, we were hoping you would. But we'll toss an idea out there because we just can't help ourselves.

The narrator calls our girl Julie when she's in town, and Miyax when she's out in the wilderness with the wolves. We meet her as Miyax, we see her become Julie in her childhood, and then we watch her become Miyax all over again. But at the very end of the novel, she's Julie once more.

Wait a minute, though. The hour of the wolves is over, according to Julie, so how can she be Julie of the Wolves?

Well that's just it – she's Julie because she must return to civilization. But she's still "of the wolves" because Amaroq, after all, is her adopted father. So in a way, the title points to the central conflict of the novel. Miyax/Julie must choose between civilization (being Julie) and the wilderness (being Miyax). Which will she choose? Take a peek at "What's Up With The Ending?" to find out.

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