- Draco in Leather Pants / Misaimed Fandom: Fair to say many, perhaps most, fans of the book like it for Wolf Larsen. This is hardly a surprise as he's by far the best written character, and despite London supposedly writing this book as a refutation of such views, Larsen comes out on top of every single argument in the book.
- Jerkass Woobie: As noted on the main page, Larsen is far from the most sympathetic of people. However, not only does he eventually suffer a particularly brutal physical breakdown on account of his brain tumour, but he has to live with the biting knowledge that despite his willpower, intelligence, and ruthless nature, the fact that he was born a nobody means that he will never amount to anything more than a captain of a small ship, rather than as Van Weyden points out, a potential Napoleon. On top of that, while his beliefs allow him to excuse and justify some awful shit, those same beliefs deprive him of much of the comfort he could have in his frankly meaningless and mean existence.
- Romantic Plot Tumor: The romance between Humphrey and Maud is often considered the worst part of the book. Ambrose Bierce himself said as such, adding that the real draw of the book is Wolf Larsen.
- Strawman Has a Point / Villain Has a Point: Probably the other issue with the story is that despite London's efforts to deconstruct the whole idea of Nietzsche's Ubermensch, Wolf Larsen is able to effectively defend his philosophy and ideals using logic and facts that fit in more with the present day. Van Weyden, by contast, while certainly likeable, isn't really able to offer decent counter-arguments to Larsen's beliefs, especially since his beliefs, for example, on the soul, may not hold a lot of water with certain readers.
YMMV / The Sea Wolf