“Aloha Oe” in Reference with Jack London’s Biography

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“Aloha Oe” in reference with Jack London’s Biography

By: Jennifer Rai

Jack London [John Griffith Chaney] was born January 12, 1876 and died November 22, 1916. His mother was of unmarried and of a wealthy background. Jack was brought up by an ex-slave in an infancy way, due to his mother’s illness. Jack London’s biography clearly shows that his early life was in poverty. He has worked as a factory worker, oyster pirate, Fish Patrol, sailor, railroad hobo, gold prospector, and may other labourer jobs. It was this background that later transformed him into a socialist. He worked at various hard labour jobs [just like Stephen night in Aloha Oe who had many job descriptions – entertainer, surf instructor, volcanic hill climber etc]. He was instrumental in breaking the taboo over leprosy and popularizing Hawaii as a tourist spot. Thus in his story he describes the norm type culture of singing the Aloha Oe song as a farewell of Tourists and expatriates and entertainment. His travels to Hawaii with his second wife Charmian Kittredge, was when he wrote the story. He had many visits to Hawaii with his second wife Charmian “Including a 1907 cruise on the yacht Snark to Hawaii”.I believe that Aloha Oe may have been part of this visit on the yacht. He may have had an experience with the entertainment that was described in the story. Many of London's stories are based on his visits to Hawaii, the last one for 10 months beginning in December 1915. After reading about Jack London I thought for a while that he may have been racist as a website I went to had an article that accused jack to be a racist but then the story “ALOHA OE” shows a different picture. when he wrote the story he may have been thing of his rocking marriage with Bessie" Maddern and how he thought he would have made it work regardless of them not being in LOVE. Bessie and Jack were not a compatible match through age, social class and many other things. They were just good friends and Jack said that he will...
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