Stasz notes that in his memoirs Chaney refers to Jack London's mother Flora Wellman, as having been his "wife" and also cites an advertisement in which Flora calls herself "Florence Wellman Chaney. The house of his birth burned down in the fire after the San Francisco earthquake, and a plaque was placed at this site by the California Historical Society in London was essentially self-educated. He taught himself in the public library , mainly just by reading books.
The Sea-Wolf, (Annotated - Includes Essay and Biography) by Jack London | | Booktopia
In he found and read Ouida's long Victorian novel Signa, which describes an unschooled Italian peasant child who achieves fame as an opera composer. He credited this as the seed of his literary aspiration.
An important event was his discovery in of the Oakland Public Library and a sympathetic librarian, Ina Coolbrith who later became California's first poet laureate and an important figure in the San Francisco literary community. In , London began working 12 to 18 hours a day at Hickmott's Cannery. Seeking a way out of this grueling labor, he borrowed money from his black foster-mother Virginia Prentiss, bought the sloop Razzle-Dazzle from an oyster pirate named French Frank, and became an oyster pirate himself. He switched to the side of the law and became a member of the California Fish Patrol.
In , he signed on to the sealing schooner Sophie Sutherland, bound for the coast of Japan. When he returned, the country was in the grip of the panic of '93 and Oakland was swept by labor unrest. After grueling jobs in a jute mill and a street-railway power plant, he joined Kelly's industrial army and began his career as a tramp.
In , he spent 30 days for vagrancy in the Erie County Penitentiary at Buffalo. In The Road, he wrote:. I say 'unprintable'; and in justice I must also say 'unthinkable'. They were unthinkable to me until I saw them, and I was no spring chicken in the ways of the world and the awful abysses of human degradation. It would take a deep plummet to reach bottom in the Erie County Pen, and I do but skim lightly and facetiously the surface of things as I there saw them.
After many experiences as a hobo, and as a sailor, he returned to Oakland and attended Oakland High School, where he contributed a number of articles to the high school's magazine, The Aegis. His first published work was "Typhoon off the coast of Japan," an account of his sailing experiences.
Jack London desperately wanted to attend the University of California and, in after a summer of intense cramming, did so; but financial circumstances forced him to leave in and so he never graduated. Kingman says that "there is no record that Jack ever wrote for student publications there". While living at his rented villa on Lake Merritt in Oakland, London met poet George Sterling and in time they became best friends. In , Sterling helped London find a home closer to his own in nearby Piedmont. In his letters London addressed Sterling as "Greek" owing to his aquiline nose and classical profile, and signed them as "Wolf.
In later life Jack London indulged his very wide-ranging interests with a personal library of 15, volumes, referring to his books as "the tools of my trade. On July 25, , London and his brother-in-law, James Shepard, sailed to join the Klondike Gold Rush where he would later set his first successful stories.
Essay/Term paper: Jack london
London's time in the Klondike, however, was quite detrimental to his health. Like so many others he developed scurvy from malnourishment. His gums became swollen, eventually leading to the loss of his four front teeth. A constant gnawing pain affected his abdomen and leg muscles, and his face was stricken with sores. Fortunately for him and others who were suffering with a variety of medical ills, a Father William Judge, "The Saint of Dawson," had a facility in Dawson which provided shelter, food and any available medicine. London survived the hardships of the Klondike, and these struggles inspired what is often called his best short story, To Build a Fire v.
Their father, Judge Hiram Bond, was a wealthy mining investor. The Bonds, especially Hiram, were active Republicans. Marshall Bond's diary mentions friendly sparring on political issues as a camp pastime. Jack left Oakland a believer in the work ethic with a social conscience and socialist leanings and returned to become an active proponent of socialism. He also concluded that his only hope of escaping the work trap was to get an education and "sell his brains. On returning to Oakland in , he began struggling seriously to break into print, a struggle memorably described in his novel, Martin Eden.
His first published story was the fine and frequently anthologized "To the Man On Trail. Jack London was fortunate in the timing of his writing career. He started just as new printing technologies enabled lower-cost production of magazines. This resulted in a boom in popular magazines aimed at a wide public, and a strong market for short fiction.
His career was well under way. Among the works he sold to magazines was a short story known as either "Batard" or "Diable" in two editions of the same basic story. A cruel French Canadian brutalizes his dog. The dog, out of revenge, kills the man. London was criticized for depicting a dog as an embodiment of evil. He told some of his critics that man's actions are the main cause of the behavior of their animals and he would show this in another short story. The story begins on an estate in Santa Clara Valley and features a St. In fact the opening scene is a description of the Bond family farm and Buck is based on a dog he was lent in Dawson by his landlords.
London visited Marshall Bond in California having run into him again at a political lecture in San Francisco in Bess had been part of his circle of friends for a number of years. Stasz says "Both acknowledged publicly that they were not marrying out of love, but from friendship and a belief that they would produce sturdy children.
Jack had made it clear to Bessie that he did not love her, but that he liked her enough to make a successful marriage. During the marriage, Jack London continued his friendship with Anna Strunsky, co-authoring The Kempton-Wace Letters, an epistolary novel contrasting two philosophies of love. Anna, writing "Dane Kempton's" letters, arguing for a romantic view of marriage, while Jack, writing "Herbert Wace's" letters, argued for a scientific view, based on Darwinism and eugenics.
In the novel, his fictional character contrasts two women he has known:. My blood pounds hot even now as I conjure her up … [The second was] a proud-breasted woman, the perfect mother, made preeminently to know the lip clasp of a child. You know the kind, the type. And so long as there are such women on this earth, that long may we keep faith in the breed of men. The wanton was the Mate Woman, but this was the Mother Woman, the last and highest and holiest in the hierarchy of life. I propose to order my affairs in a rational manner ….
Wherefore I marry Hester Stebbins. I am not impelled by the archaic sex madness of the beast, nor by the obsolescent romance madness of later-day man. I contract a tie which reason tells me is based upon health and sanity and compatibility.
My intellect shall delight in that tie. Both children were born in Piedmont, California, where London also wrote one of his most celebrated works, The Call of the Wild. Captions to pictures in a photo album, reproduced in part in Joan London's memoir, Jack London and His Daughters, published posthumously, show Jack London's unmistakable happiness and pride in his children. But the marriage itself was under continuous strain. Kingman says that by "the breakup … was imminent …. Bessie was a fine woman, but they were extremely incompatible. There was no love left. Even companionship and respect had gone out of the marriage.
According to Joseph Noel, "Bessie was the eternal mother. She lived at first for Jack, corrected his manuscripts, drilled him in grammar, but when the children came she lived for them. Herein was her greatest honor and her first blunder.