Julie of the Wolves – Literature – Setting

The story is set in the North Slope of the Arctic tundra in contemporary Alaska.
Starting from Barrow, the village where her husband Daniel lives, Miyax makes her way through the North Slope to Point Hope, from which she plans to take the ship to the United States. Miyax has grown up in Alaska as an Eskimo girl and flees on foot through the wilderness away from her husband to have a better life. Now she is alone and has to find a way to survive on her own, so she forms an alliance with a wolf pack. With them she becomes braver and discovers how to be a real Eskimo. The wilderness gives her freedom from her husband as she feels forced into having an arranged marriage despite the fact that most marriages in the Inuit culture were not arranged (Goldi Productions 2007). Now, in the wilderness far from society, she can make her own decisions.
The story starts in summer and continues until winter time, with a flashback into the past. It begins to get colder and soon the sun does not rise for very long. Luckily, the stars can guide Miyax and the snow serves as a refrigerator for her food supplies. However, she has to make herself warmer clothes and she cannot gather plants to eat anymore. For this reason, she depends on the hunting of the wolves. Fear arises, when she finds out that the wolves are going to depart to another place in winter, but these hurdles make her more independent and open towards new possibilities, and she becomes a woman.
The wilderness can be dangerous as there are many possible threats such as dangerous animals and the inclement weather. These make the story an exciting adventure. Moreover, there is a general feeling of loneliness associated with the setting because there are almost no other humans apart from Miyax. It becomes necessary to find someone else to help her survive and to make her feel less lonely. These are the wolf pack and the bird Tornait which whom she makes friends.