Lit Paper - Counter Adrienne Counter Literature of the Sea...

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Counter Adrienne Counter March 21, 2007 Literature of the Sea The Shaping of Hump Humphrey Van Weyden is an individual of little strength. He is trapped upon a vessel and put into a job that he has no prior experience in. In a way, Humphrey can be described as less of a man because he cannot use his hands to perform skills. Humphrey does not fulfill the general idea that comes to mind when you think of a manly man. A manly man is someone that is not afraid of getting dirty and using his hands to repair objects or maneuver mobile possessions. “I had never done any hard manual labor or scullion labor in my life. I had lived a placid, uneventful, sedentary existence all my days” (London, 29). Humphrey cannot understand the road that he is yet to conquer in order to find himself. He encounters the captain of the Ghost helps him along this journey. The captain, Wolf Larsen, perceived to be a cruel human being but that is not the case. “Wolf Larsen’s features showed no such evil stamp. There seem nothing vicious in them. True, there were lines, but they were lines of decision and firmness” (24). Larsen is a great looking man that just shows a lot of dominance. In actually, the captain helps Humphrey in unusual ways. Wolf Larsen is a misunderstood individual who actually uses his tactics to shape Humphrey Van Weyden into a well-rounded man by mentoring, being judgmental, and using his crew through harsh punishment. Hump is spinning out of control in life. He has been cared for and taught not to lift a finger. He has an arrogant aroma about him that makes him seem unlikely to cope 1
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Counter with the demands of working in a harsh environment. He has never seen a dirty dish, torn clothes, or sloppy meal a day in his life that is unsettling to those people of common background. He cannot even stand to set his eyes upon an individual that is not suitable to his likings. London portrays this when Hump says, “I passed my hand over the horny projections, and my teeth went on edge once more from the horrible rasping sensation produced” (9) Humphrey is very disturbed that he has to shape Johnson’s hand. It shows
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Lit Paper - Counter Adrienne Counter Literature of the Sea...

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