Julie of the Wolves

by Jean George

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Student Question

What are Miyax’s strengths in Julie of the Wolves and how might they help her survive?

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In Julie of the Wolves by Jean George, Miyax, or Julie, has many traits that help her survive in the wilderness after she gets lost. Let’s look at some of those traits and think about how they serve her in her predicament.

Miyax is a smart and courageous girl who refuses to give up even when things are the hardest. She has been taught wilderness skills from the time she was a very young girl, and she uses every skill she has creatively and intelligently. She is also willing to step outside of her comfort zone and communicate with the wolves, learning how to live with them and discovering their ways. The wolves help Julie survive, and she, in a way, becomes part of their pack.

Miyax also shows that she has a lot of love for the natural world. She is determined to live within it to the best of her ability, and this determination also helps her survive. She respects nature and does not try to impose herself upon it. She uses the things of nature to her benefit.

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Make a list of Miyax's strengths, and explain how each strength might help her survive her ordeal.

In Julie of the Wolves, the character known as both Miyax and Julie exhibits many strengths. She is an Alaskan Native girl (called Eskimo in the terminology of the time) who is fleeing an arranged marriage. Lost in the wilderness, she determines that to survive she will need help from the wolves.

One thing she had learned from her father, Kapugen, is the importance of patience. Miyax takes the time to observe the natural phenomena around her. As she applies these skills to watching the wolf pack, she learns many of their behaviors and even their values, such as sharing food. This knowledge enables her to ingratiate herself into the pack, befriending the cubs. She is not afraid to experiment or act silly, such as wiggling her hands to simulate ears. When the pups grow up, however, her human identity does become problematic.

As Miyax re-enters human society, she must re-learn human skills. More importantly, she gains the maturity to understand her father as a person, rather than hero-worship him. Her strengths are patience, the ability to adapt, and the ability to learn.

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