Jack London

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Jack London

Jack London is one of the most famous American writers. He wrote many great books over his short lifetime. Many of his stories are about animals and nature, which most people can relate to. Because of his great stories, he was able to be a financial success. London's books are read in most grade schools in America. To say that he was a great writer would be an understatement. Jack London, one of America's most famous writers, wrote the novel The Call of the Wild which contains many themes including the themes of: the double, myth of the hero, and survival of the fittest.

Jack London's life was short, but he accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. Jack London was born in 1876 in San Francisco (Stasz pg. 1). He was an illegitimate son of an astrologer and a Welsh farm girl (London, Jack par. 1). His mother, Flora Wellman, married John London late in 1876 (Stasz pg. 1). According to David Hartzell, Jack London's early life was etched and scarred by poverty (pg. 1). His family moved around in order to find subsistence (pg. 1). They finally settled in Oakland where Jack was raised by his mother Flora, a music teacher and spiritualist, and by stepfather John London (Jack London – Biography and Works pg. 1).

At the age of 10, Jack sold newspapers to help his family make ends meet (Hartzell pg. 1). Also at the age of 10, he became an avid reader and borrowed books from the Oakland Public Library (Jack London – Biography and Works pg. 1). He quit school at the age of 14 and worked as a seaman, rode in freight trains as a hobo, and adopted socialistic views as a member of protest armies of the unemployed (Jack London – Biography and Works pg. 1). Over the next several years, he worked hard labor for ten cents an hour, twelve to fourteen hours a day, six or seven days a week (Hartzell pg. 1). After working in hard labor, he decided to travel to Alaska to try his hand at gold prospecting (London, Jack 1876-1916 par. 2). When he returned from his Alaska trip, he began to write (London, Jack 1876-1916 par. 2). Without having much formal education, London educated himself in public libraries, and at the age of 19 gained admittance to the University of California at Berkeley (Jack London – Biography and Works par 3). He didn't really like college, so he only stayed for a semester (London, Jack 1876-1916 par. 2). Jack did not have any education in writing and it took three years for him to get a story published (Hartzell pg. 2). His stories first began to appear in a magazine called Overland Monthly (London, Jack par. 1).

According to "Jack London – Biography and Works," he married Elizabeth Maddern in 1900, but left her and their two daughters three years later (pg. 1). He eventually married a lady by the name of Charmain Kittredge (pg. 2). In 1901, Jack London ran for mayor of Oakland as a member of the socialist party, but was not elected (pg. 2). He began to steadily produce novels, nonfiction works and short stories (pg. 2). London's first novel The Son of the Wolf, appeared in 1900 (pg. 2). His Alaska stories, The Call of the Wild and Burning Daylight, became very popular (pg. 2).

According to David Hartzell, Jack London became the highest paid and most popular writer of his time (pg. 2). He wrote about the great questions of life and death, the struggle to survive, and wove these ideas of high adventure based on his firsthand experiences in Alaska (pg. 2). As a result of his writing style, his stories appealed not to the few, but to the millions of people around the world (pg. 2).

In 1910, Jack London purchased a piece of property near Glen Ellen in Sonoma Valley, California, according to "Jack London – Biography and Works" (pg. 2). He devoted his energy and money to improving his place there, which he called Beauty Ranch (pg. 2). London was attracted to Sonoma Valley by its natural landscape and because it could be a place for him to escape everyday life (Hartzell pg. 2). His life took a...
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