Let me put this heavy load down and take some of these bulky clothes off
and I'll tell you about how I became a short story and novel writer.
My name is John Griffith London. But I like to be called Jack. I was born
in San Francisco in 1876. Most of my childhood I was very poor. I had to help
my parents earn a living by doing odd jobs. I delivered papers, worked on ice-
wagons, cleaned up bowling alleys, helped in the cannery and only made ten cents
an hour. I usually worked ten hours a day. I learned what it was like being a
member of the working-class and I always had a distaste for its drudgery. I
kept telling myself, "Jack, some day you will be rich." I loved to read and
often borrowed books of adventure, travel, and sea voyages.
At fourteen, I left school to lead a wandering and adventurous life, so I
thought. Jobs were hard to find but I was employed by the fish patrol in San
Francisco Bay. Imagine hopping on every boat that pulls into the bay and
counting the number of fish on board and having to write fines to the sailors
that had too many fish. This sure wasn't a popular job in the bay area. I was
smart enough to figure I could be on the other side of the law and rob and steal
vessels so I became an oyster pirate.
I had a real passion for the sea and so in 1893 I took a job as a common
sailor aboard a sealing vessel that ventured as far as Japan. This lasted about
a year. When I returned back to the bay area I drifted from job to job.
I told you I liked to wander. I left the bay and headed for New York City.
I went on the road and lived as a tramp. Without any place to stay I was soon
jailed for vagrancy. I spent one month in jail and there I realized I needed to
make something of myself. I returned to California and to school. My reading
continued. Rudyard Kipling and Robert Louis Stevenson became my liteary gods
and Darwin, Herbert Spencer, and Karl Marx made me... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(1999, 10). Creative Writing: John Griffith Biography. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Creative-Writing-John-Griffith-Biography-1407.html
"Creative Writing: John Griffith Biography" StudyMode.com. 10 1999. 10 1999 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Creative-Writing-John-Griffith-Biography-1407.html>.
"Creative Writing: John Griffith Biography." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Creative-Writing-John-Griffith-Biography-1407.html.