Analysing Jack London And His Work English Literature Essay

Analysing Jack London And His Work English Literature Essay

Jack London, a good known American writer, has written a just portion of genuinely authoritative works.A The Call of the Wild and White Fang are basics of center and high school reading requirements.A His other novels, such as The People of the Abyss and Sea Wolf are non every bit good known, but are still regarded as superb pieces of literature by many scholars.A Lesser known are his many volumes of short narratives ; “ To Construct a Fire ” being the most popular.A I can non state that I have read even a little per centum of London ‘s plants, but from what I have read, I noticed some repeating similarities.A

A A A A A A A A A A A “ To Construct a Fire ” is a narrative about a adult male who is going entirely in the frozen Yukon.A He knows that it is non safe to be going when it is so cold, but pig-headedly keeps moving.A He falls through a cleft in the ice, wetting his feet.A In order to remain alive, he must construct a fire, warm his pess and travel on.A Despite several efforts, the adult male fails and dies.A A Of the 14 pages within “ To Construct a Fire, ” eight of those are devoted to the events of the adult male seeking to do a fire ; the other six chiefly concentrate on the setting.A The adult male ‘s finding to construct the fire is evident-a simple irritation at the get downing leads to a frenetic death at the end.A The secret plan was every bit simple as one adult male ‘s effort to last against nature.

A A A A A A A A A A A Again we see a adult male ‘s chase for endurance against nature in “ Love of Life. “ A In this narrative, two work forces are going through the Yukon transporting pokes of gold.A One adult male gets injured, but the other, paying no attentiveness to his comrade, travels on.A The adult male ‘s injured mortise joint slows his gait and he is forced to rest many times.A This slow gait and yearss of cloudy skies cause him to lose his way.A For yearss the adult male wanders aimlessly through the wastes plains.A We learn of his trials seeking to happen nutrient and his experiences with nature environing him.A The adult male ‘s unwillingness to give up leads to his survival.A After several yearss of travelling, he is discovered lying on a beach by a group of scientists who nurse him back to life.

A A A A A A A A A A A “ The League of the Old Men ” is really different from the other two narratives I read.A This narrative does non incorporate London ‘s authoritative adult male versus nature struggle ; alternatively, he looks at adult male versus man.A Somewhere in the Yukon, a folk of Native Americans called Whitefish are being exterminated by Europeans.A The decimation of their people is non straight caused by the European invasion, but by what they bring with them ; disease, greed, and liquor.A One adult male, Imber, decided to stand up for his folk and protect them.A Imber has seen his tribe become victim to white adult male ‘s disease, white adult male ‘s wonts, and the loss of 1000s of animate beings to the pelt trade.A Imber organized a group of people to kill any white adult male who came around.A Finally, Imber was the lone one left in his folk, and hence decided to turn himself in.A It is through the tribunal proceedings that we learn the destiny of the Whitefish people.A

A A A A A A A A A A A It is apparent, in my head, that these three narratives portion many similarities.A For one, the scenes all take topographic point in a really rugged portion of Canada.A The characters are all really lasting people ; by this, I mean that they can digest events that the mean homo would non be able to.A Would you be able to go through negative 70 grade conditions, or wander around for yearss scavenging for nutrient, or be able to kill many people for the benefit of others? A I can non confidently say that I or anyone else could.A However, London carefully portrays his characters in a mode that will non distance them from the audience.A London ‘s characters and puting straight set the phase for his subject: endurance.

A A A A A A A A A A A This brings me to the inquiry of why did London usage such similar scenes and characters? A When idea approximately, it becomes clear that he did this to enable the usage of endurance as the narrative ‘s theme.A Put the characters in a different scene, and what do you hold? It ‘s non traveling to take much to last in a tropical island, grasslands, or jungle.A In these topographic points, nutrient and H2O are readily available, and you do n’t hold the utmost elements to cover with.A The lone other puting that could be as waste and harsh as the Yukon would be a desert or perchance the sea ; another puting London loved to compose about.A One expression at London ‘s life can state you why he chose the Yukon over the desert-London spent an full twelvemonth when he was younger looking for gold in the Yukon and besides spent much of his life at sea.A The experiences he had here evidently influenced him greatly.A

A A A A A A A A A A A To foster demo his subject of endurance, London chose to utilize strong, stalwart characters.A Again, when asked why this is, there would n’t be a narrative if the character was any other way.A Because of the rough kingdom of the scene, the characters must be suited to walk the tight rope of life and death.A If the character was excessively weak, he would decease easy, and the narrative would be pointless.A If he was excessively strong, he would look inhuman to the reader, and the reader would n’t be able to link with the characters.A London knew that he must utilize people that were neither extraordinary nor frail.A This enables the reader to associate to the characters, while staying in awe of them.A

A A A A A A A A A A A In these three narratives, I have found a distinguishable form in London ‘s writing.A His pick of puting sets up the characters which set up the theme.A Take away the Yukon scene, you do n’t necessitate the characters to be so bold, and you lose the theme.A Take away the bold characters, they die in the scene, and lose the theme.A Take away the subject of endurance, and you have some characters running about in a barren for no reason.A We now know why London chose the scene he did, and how he chose characters to suit the scene, but why write continuously about endurance? A For this, we will look at his existent life experience in the Yukon.

A A A A A A A A A A A A really elaborate chapter entitled “ The Gold Rush ” in Lone Wolf: The Story of Jack London gives a thorough image of London ‘s ordeal in making the Yukon.A Spurred on by narratives of work forces acquiring rich in the Klondike, London and a few friends decided to seek their fortune at panning for gold.A Jack and his friend Captain Shepard planned to sail Shepard ‘s ship up to Dyea, and get down their journey there.A London, anticipating the huffy haste of work forces to the Yukon, decided it would be best to construct a squad of work forces to assist them.A When they reached Dyea, they realized that they could non pay for Indian porters to assist them travel their gear.A Still eager to strike it rich, the work forces decided to make it themselves.A It was at this point that Captain Shepard admitted licking and left the group to sail back to California.A For two and a half yearss, the work forces moved their nutrient and cogwheel three stat mis up a mountain ridge called “ ‘the worst trail this side of snake pit. ‘ ” ( Marshall, 80 ) A The journey up to Chinook Pass had a profound consequence on London.A He saw many work forces who, like Captain Shepard, were “ excessively weak to travel on, and took weak to travel back. ” ( Marshall, 82 ) Even after they reached the base on balls, they still had a 20 two stat mi hiking to Klondike City.

A A A A A A A A A A A Those 20 two stat mis were filled with thick swamps, ice cold rivers and lakes to traverse, and dense woods to transport their gear through.A Upon making the river, London decided that, alternatively of waiting for a ferry, they would construct their ain raft to transport them the remainder of the way.A Along this journey, they were faced with unreliable rapids that no 1 had yet been able to conquer.A London decided to put on the line his life and the lives of his men.A Jack ‘s homemade trade, the “ Yukon Belle, ” shot down the rapids, deriving them a immense advantage over the other gold-rushers.A After settling at an old pelt bargainer cantonment, the four work forces began prospecting.A A significant sum of what appeared to be gilded dust was found and the work forces traveled 80 stat mis to Dawson to interest their claim.A Unfortunately, the dust was non gilded, but mica.A Beat from their long journey, the work forces decided to remain in Dawson for about two months before returning to their camp.A After some tenseness grew within Jack ‘s group, he decided to exchange squads with a neighbour of his.A Here is where he saw the old twelvemonth wear on him and his comrades.A After developing scorbutus, London returned to California in June of 1898.A

A A A A A A A A A A A This retelling of Jack ‘s escapades in the Yukon emphasizes even more why he chose the characters and puting for many of his stories.A However, it does non explicate exhaustively why he wrote about endurance so often.A As we have learned in category, one ‘s perceptual experience of subject is non ever the same as everyone else.A While researching my annotated bibliography, this fact became evident.A Unfortunately, many of the beginnings I found focus entirely on “ To Construct a Fire, ” and non a wide spectrum of London ‘s works.A Irregardless, they do supply a good penetration as to how others viewed London ‘s subjects.

A A A A A A A A A A A Clell Peterson wrote an essay focussing on “ The Theme of Jack London ‘s ‘To Build a Fire. ‘ ” A In this essay, he concludes that the subject is one of rebirth.A He does, nevertheless, reference endurance ; “ a strong theme-by which is meant, I suppose, the crude battle for endurance. ” ( Peterson, 3 ) A However, before coming to this decision, he examines the characters and scene of the story.A “ Although the adult male is the cardinal character… He is non presented as immature, strong, or heroic. ” ( Peterson, 5 ) This is, in my sentiment, why he died, while the storyteller in “ Love of Life ” did not.A Peterson looks at the symbolism of the scene and adult male ‘s inability to grok such powerful forces.A “ The events of the narrative take topographic point in a universe devoid of sunshine, of daytime, which is besides the visible radiation of ground and common sense. ” ( Peterson, 5 ) A London used non merely the physical scene, but the adult male ‘s mental scene to do his state of affairs even bleaker.A

A A A A A A A A A A A The supporter ‘s deficiency of regard for nature and inability to step back and pay attending to the inside informations environing his state of affairs finally lead to his demise.A “ To Construct a Fire ” shows London ‘s position of adult male in his earlier writings.A The adult male died because he was excessively weak, mentally and physically.A The adult male ‘s irrational behaviour stemmed from the pandemonium in his mind.A “ The supporter does non wish to decease, but he lacks the ‘love of life ‘ that would coerce him to fight to the terminal. ” ( Peterson, 7 ) London writes that the adult male “ drowsed off into what seemed to him the most comfy and hearty slumber he had of all time known. ” ( London, 22 ) This clearly contrasts the chief character in “ Love of Life. ”

A A A A A A A A A A A During the adult male ‘s battle in “ Love of Life, ” he finally becomes one with nature.A “ He stalks ptarmigan ‘as a cat stalks a sparrow, ‘ and he attempts to eat grass ‘like some bovine animate being. ‘ ” ( Peterson, 7 ) Unlike the character in “ To Construct a Fire, ” the adult male begins to humble himself before Mother Nature.A It is this unimportance and regard that leads to his “ love of life. “ A At one point, the adult male is faced with the same determination as in “ To Construct a Fire ” ; to decease would intend peace, and to populate would intend pain.A The adult male in “ Love of Life ” chose hurting ; “ It was merely life that pained.A There was no injury in death.A To decease was to sleep.A It meant surcease, rest.A Then why was he non content to decease? ” ( London, 220 ) A The adult male ‘s journey through the natural state is much like the Native American ‘s “ vision quest. “ A No nutrient, no shelter, and no outside aid for yearss to happen out what your intent in life was.A London leaves the adult male ‘s unbelievable mental journey to the imaginativeness of the reader ; we merely acquire to see his physical journey and his transmutation in the end.A

A A A A A A A A A A A Why did the adult male survive in “ Love of Life ” and the other, in “ To Construct a Fire, ” dice? A Peterson suggests that “ To Construct a Fire ” “ topographic points adult male forthrightly within a mercenary nature.A The 3rd narrative ( “ Love of Life ” ) equivocally suggests that adult male has been corrupted from nature and hence wages on occasion a fearful consequence.A Ignorant of his renunciation and unable to see rather where he has gone incorrect, adult male however is capable of new penetrations and the tragic vision that both ennobles and conceals his autumn from nature. ” ( Peterson, 8 ) A This reading leads to another interesting belief within London ‘s Hagiographas ; change.A Taken out of context, the adult male in “ To Construct a Fire ” dies because he was unable to accommodate or alter to suit the environment.A “ Love of Life ” shows that the supporter had to alter in order to survive.A

This connexion carries through to the antecedently unmentioned “ The League of the Old Men. “ A It was the alteration, the invasion of the white adult male that caused Imber to take action.A Had he accepted the alteration, his people would hold died due to disease and starvation.A Had he stepped back and viewed the state of affairs clearly and understood what was go oning, he and his people would hold survived.A Alternatively, he chose to inquire no inquiries, and began killing any white adult male he saw.A He was incognizant that the work forces he slew were merely guiltless travellers, huntsmans, and mail carriers.A Because of his inability to set to sharing land with the white work forces, he ended up losing his full folk, and was now on test for his life.A By analysing these three narratives, I have become more cognizant of London ‘s “ Darwinism ” position of life.

Through all of my research, I could non come to a unequivocal decision as to why London normally used endurance, or his belief that survival roots from version, as a common theme.A I have besides failed to happen a concrete connexion between events in London ‘s life and the subject of his writings.A For many writers, their political beliefs frequently appear in their literature, but it is difficult to hold on the construct of socialism within these three stories.A The lone exclusion could be in “ To Construct a Fire. ”

Donald Brown points out that “ If the adult male had been going with a friend alternatively of a Canis familiaris, so he would most probably non hold died. ” ( Brown ) Capitalists rely entirely on themselves, communists entirely on the authorities, and socialists take a portion of both.A Could this demand for a comrade be London stating the reader that capitalist economy and communism are incorrect? A Other than this event, I can non happen any mentions to London ‘s political positions within these three writings.A It is excessively far of a range to state that London ‘s displeasure with the American authorities could hold been remedied with adaptation.A A finding of that would imply much more research.

Could the reply to my inquiry prevarication merely in his year-long stretch in the Yukon? A It is apparent that the Yukon scene became his favourite, composing volumes of narratives about it.A In my sentiment, London came to some kind of epiphany about the universe while in the Yukon.A Many of his Hagiographas reflect either the fear or indifference of adult male towards nature.A There is no better topographic point to witness the barbarous beauty of nature than in the cold, waste Klondike.A London had merely been challenged by nature in one other context-the sea.A Because of his travels later in life, I am uneasy as to whether the sea even posed a menace to London.A Crippled from scorbutus, it is evident that London eventually admitted licking to nature in the Yukon.

There is nil to discourage me from believing that the events that transpired in these three narratives are untrue.A As London points out himself, “ To Construct a Fire ” is based around truth.A In a missive to the editor at “ Youth ‘s Companion, ” Jack clarifies his point to a misinformed reader. “ It is an old Alaskan calamity, this fire-building.A They have traced a adult male, from his first careful effort at a fire to his last wild & A ; lame effort, & A ; so found his stiff body-and this has been done more than one time. ” ( London, 1 ) A He besides relates this event to his ain life ; “ I have built a fire at 74 below nothing, and I did it with my bare custodies. ” ( London, 1 ) A Clearly, we see that the secret plan of “ To Construct a Fire ” is based around a true story.A

Returning one time once more to “ The League of the Old Men, ” I have established two theories environing the secret plan of the story.A It was known that London was fascinated by, and took rather a liking to the Natives in the Yukon.A “ To the others a indigen was a ‘siwash, but Jack would speak to them… He would entertain them and ask for them into the cabin, and… he learned [ more ] about them. ” ( Marshall, 88 ) Could London hold heard a narrative similar to the events of “ The League of Old Men ” from the Natives he spoke to? A Or could it be an excusatory work of his positions of the farces and unfairnesss done to the Natives? A Again, nil can discourage me from believing either one of these are untrue.A The same can be said of “ Love of Life. “ A During this period of history, and given the appropriate scene, London could hold heard 100s of similar narratives from other prospectors.A As a warning about the abrasiveness of nature, or for sheer ennui, narratives like these certainly were told.A London might hold perchance merely set them into writing.A

As I stated earlier, I believe the clip London spent in the Yukon had a profound consequence on him.A Because he wrote about the humbling forces of nature, it is rather possible that he himself had some close decease events.A Making the trek up the ridge to Chinook Pass, the 20 two stat mi hiking to the cantonment, and even the “ Yukon Belle ” suppressing the rapids are adequate for Mother Nature to win the regard of London.A It is this regard and awe for the frequently unobserved forces that forced him to compose about adult male ‘s endurance against nature.A As he matured as a author, he began to compose about other struggles ; adult male versus adult male, or instead adult male versus alteration in such narratives as “ The League of the Old Men ” and The People of the Abyss.A Whatever London ‘s motivations were, he steadfastly established himself as the unequivocal writer on endurance.