A Analysis of Jack London Novels

Topics: Jack London, Klondike Gold Rush, The Call of the Wild Pages: 8 (2925 words) Published: October 8, 1999
A literary Analysis of Jack London three most recognized works, Sea Wolf; The Call of the Wild; and White Fang.

Jack London lived a full life, even though he died at the young age of forty. In his life time he experienced many things, and I believe that these experiences were the catalyst of his novels. Jack London was an oyster pirate, a government patrolman in San Francisco Bay, a sailor and an agrarian reformer, a seal hunter in the North Pacific and a gold prospector in the frozen Klondike, a war correspondent and a prizefighting reporter, a socialist soapbox orator who later became a lecturer at universities, a family man and landowner, and of course a true American writer. A critic by the name of Alfred Kazin once said "that the greatest story London ever wrote was the one he lived."

London had a hard life as a child and as a young man, in spite of this London grew to become one of Americas most popular and highly paid authors ever. He was not a baby boomer. This was not just an American thing, London was known around the world for his great adventure stories, that could be enjoyed by all ages. Londons life was diversified and so were his writings. Today, London is mostly known for his "dog stories", The Call of the Wild and White Fang. In addition to those great works London wrote many other stories and novels, all of which were published in the seventeen years that he wrote professionally. Londons writings vary in quality as well as in subject, his from the cheapest and worst kind of pieces to the beautiful works like The Call of the Wild and Sea Wolf. In this literary analysis the focus will be on Londons more well known and enjoyed works.

Londons life defiantly coincides with his writing. Professor Earle Labor attributes London's success as a writer to three different factors: poverty- how London rose from the bottom all the way to the top, wanderlust- the fact that he spent a good portion of his life on the road gave him ample material to write about, and last but not least was, "the omnivorous appetite for reading that gave him his philosophical substance and sense of artistic form."

London was a complex individual whose character was made up of apparent contradictions. He was a declared socialist, but above all, a devout individualist. He believed in the politics and economics of socialism and decried the iniquities Of capitalism, but at the same time set out to succeed within that system. And he did, earning more money than any other writer before him. He appeared to be a well rounded man in all things, but he was plagued by ill health, and he consistently hurt his physical state by exerting himself to the utmost. He helped create a London myth by refraining from denying untrue stories of his superhuman exploits, but yet he strongly believed in being honest to everyone. He was a lover of humanity who wanted and fought for equality and justice for all, at the same time stressed the supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon race. This mixture in London prefigured the twentieth century with its dramatic inconsistencies, its political and social revolutions, and its great upheavals in world culture. For London broadcast his message of raw life with all its inherent flaws, ecstasies, and miseries at a time when the world was still digesting "Victorian pap", the sentimental stories of drawing room propriety that demanded a rigorous screening of anything unseemly. Jack London cracked the hypothetical bed of that literary world.

"The Call of the Wild and White Fang are two of London's best and most popular works" says Paul Horowitz . In both of these stories he stressed the fact that human and dog relationships. He probably started the common phrase "mans best friend".

The Call of the Wild met with instantaneous success upon its publication and soon won for its author international fame. Today both works are in constant demand throughout the world by people of all ages. London set...

Bibliography: 1. London, Jack: The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and other stories. edited by Andrew Sinclair, New York N.Y. : Penguin Books, 1981
2. London, Jack: The Call of the Wild, White Fang, Sea Wolf, and forty short stories. edited by Paul J. Horowitz, New York N.Y.: Portland House, 1998
3. Stone, Irving: Sailor on horseback, Gardencity, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1977
4. Walker, Dale: Jack London and Conan Doyle: a literary kinship, Bloomingdale In.: Gaslight Publications, 1989
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