How does Julie survive in a challenging environment in the book Julie of the Wolves?  

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There is one very simple explanation as to how Julie survives in the challenging environment of the Alaskan tundra:  she uses the "old ways" of the Eskimo to overcome fear.

Fear becomes easy for Julie to overcome as soon as she begins the concentration on survival.  For example, Julie is smart enough to take necessities with her on her journey:  matches and her ulo knife.  Unfortunately, Julie does lose her way, but she immediately builds a sod hut in order to find shelter.  Julie's next order of business in regards to survival is food.  It is this aspect of survival that makes Julie cling to the wolves she meets.  Julie is extremely patient while observing them and is eventually able to determine how to submit to the lead wolf, Amaroq (by laying belly-up).  

Because Julie easily reverts to the "old ways" of the Eskimo people that she knows so well (because of her years living with Kapugen in the seal camp), survival is possible. Remembering her father's advice always serves Julie well.  This memory is another method of survival.  Very importantly, Kapugen's advice is coveted when Julie comes upon the pack of wolves which will eventually become her family:

Wolves are brotherly. ... They love each other, and if you learn to speak to them, they will love you too.

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