London And Call Of The Wild
A short biografy of Jack London.
Jack London was born in San Francisco. He was deserted by his father, “Professor” William Henry Chaney, an itinerant astrologer, and raised in Oakland by his mother Flora Wellman, a music teacher and spiritualist. London’s stepfather John London, whose surname he took, was a failed storekeeper. London’s youth was marked by poverty. At the age of ten he became an avid reader, and borrowed books from the Oakland Public Library, where Ina Coolbirth recommended him the works of Flaubert, Tolstoy and other major novelist.
After leaving school at the age of 14, London worked as a seaman, rode in freight trains as a hobo and adopted socialistic views as a member of the protest armies of the unemployed. In 1894 he was arrested in Niagara Falls and jailed for vagrancy. These years made him determined to raise himself out of poverty but they also gave later material for such works as THE SEA-WOLF (1904), which was partly based on his horrific experiences as a sailor in the Pacific Ocean. THE ROAD (1907), a collection of short stories, inspired later writers like John Steinbeck and Jack Kerouac.
Without having much formal education, London spent much time in public libraries reading fiction, philosophy, poetry, political science, and at the age of 19 gained admittance to the University of California in Berkeley. During this period he had already started to write. His first great love was Mabel Applegate, a middle-class girl, who became the model for Ryth Morse in MARTIN EDEN (1909).
London left the school before the year was over and went to seek a fortune in the Klondike gold rush of 1897. His attempt was unsuccessful. London spent the winter near Dawson City, suffering from scurvy. In the spring he returned to San Francisco his notebook full of plans for stories.
For the remainder of 1898 London again tried to earn his living by writing. His early stories appeared in the Overland Monthly and Atlantic Monthly. In 1900 he married Elisabeth (Bess) Maddern; their home became a battle field between Bess and London’s mother Flora. Three years later he left her and their two daughters, eventually to marry Charmian Kittredge, an editor and outdoorswoman. The marriage lasted until London’s death. Charmian became the model of London’s women characters, such as Paula in THE LITTLE LADY OF THE BIG HOUSE (1916).
In 1901 London ran unsuccessfully on the Socialist party ticket for mayor of Oakland. He started to produce steadily novels, nonfiction, and short stories, becoming in his lifetime one of the most popular authors. London had early built his system of producing a daily quota of thousand words. He did not give up even during his travels and drinking periods. London’s first novel, THE SON OF THE WOLF, appeared in 1900. By 1904 Jack London was the author of 10 books. Son of the Wolf gained a wide audience as his other Alaska stories, THE CALL OF THE WILD (1903), in which a giant pet dog Buck finds his survival instincts in Yukon, WHITE FANG (1906), and BURNING DAYLIGHT (1910).
In 1902 London went to England, where he studied the backside of the British imperium: the living conditions in East End and working class areas of the capital city. Originally he set out for South Africa to report the Boer War. His book about the economic degradation of the poor, THE PEOPLE OF THE ABYSS (1903), was a surprise success in the U.S. but criticized in England. London produced this classic of investigative reporting in seven weeks. In the middle of bitter separation in 1904, London traveled to Korea as a correspondent for Hearst’s newspapers to cover the war between Russia and Japan (1904-05). Next year he published his first collection of non-fiction pieces, THE WAR OF THE CLASSES, which included his lectures on socialism. In 1907 London and Charmian started aboard the Snark, the author’s elf-designed ketch, a sailing trip around the world. On the voyage he began to write Martin Eden. After hardships – his captain was incompetent, the ketch was inefficient – they abrupted the journey in Australia.
London’s financial affairs were in chaos, his teeth gave him incessant pain, and he began to buy plots from a struggling writer, Sinclair Lewis, to produce more articles and stories for sale.
London had purchased in 1910 a large tract of land near Glen Ellen in Sonoma County, and devoted his energy and money improving and enlarging his Beauty Ranch. He also traveled widely and reported on the Mexican revolution. In 1913 London’s Beauty Ranch, still incomplete, was destroyed by fire, and he was told by his doctor that his kidneys were failing. According to some sources, London’s dream castle was burned deliberately – and it was uninsured.
A few months before his death, London resigned from the Socialist Party. Debts, alcoholism, illness, and fear of losing his creativity darkened the author’s last years. He died on November 22, 1916, officially of gastro-intestinal uremia. However, there has been speculations that London committed suicide with morphine, but the two vials which were found did not contained the dosis acquired for a suicide – especially for someone who was trained to take morphine against suffering. – “Jack London was never an original thinker. He was a great gobbler-up of the world, physically and intellectually. He was the kind of writer who went to a place and wrote his dreams into it, who found an Idea and spun his psyche around it. He was a workaday literary genius/hack who knew instinctively that Literature was a generous host, always having room for one more at her table.” (L.E. Doctorow in «The New York Times», December 11, 1988)
And now I want to tell you about one of the most beautiful Jack London`s novels « The Ð¡all of the Wild».
Throughout the novel The Call of the Wild, we follow a dog named Buck through his journey through the Klondike. We experience a transformation in him, as he adapts to the cold, harsh land where he is forced to toil in the snow, just to help men find a shiny metal. Buck seems to almost transform into a different dog by the end of the book. In this book report, I will go over what Buck was like, how and why he was forced to adapt to his new environment, and what he changed into. When we first met up with Buck, he lived in the Santa Clara Valley, on Judge Miller’s property. He was the ruler of his domain, uncontested by any other local dogs. he was a mix between a St. Bernard and a Scotch Shepherd dog. He weighed one hundred and forty pounds, and he carried every one with utmost pride. Buck had everything he could want. Little did he know, he would soon have it all taken away from him. One night, while the judge was away at a raisin grower’s committee meeting, the gardener, Manuel, took Buck away from his home. Buck was then sold, and thrown in a baggage car. This would be the beginning of a new, cruel life for Buck. On his ride to wherever he was going, Buck’s pride was severely damaged, if not completely wiped out by men who used tools to restrain him. No matter how many times Buck tried to lunge, he would just be choked into submission at the end. When Buck arrived at his destination, there was snow everywhere, not to mention the masses of Husky and wolf dogs. Buck was thrown into a pen with a man who had a club. This is where Buck would learn one of the two most important laws that a dog could know in the Klondike. The law of club is quite simple, if there is a man with a club, a dog would be better off not to challenge that man. Buck learned this law after he was beaten half to death by the man who had the club. no matter what he tried, he just couldn’t win. Buck was sold off to a man who put him in a harness connected to many other dogs. Buck was bad at first, but eventually, he learned the way of trace and trail. Buck had to learn many things if he was to survive in this frigid land. He had to learn to sleep under the snow, and to eat his food as fast as possible so as not to have it stolen. At about this point in the book, we see Buck start to go through a metamorphosis of sorts. He transforms from a house dog to a more primitive, savage version of his former self. It was as if hundreds of years of knowledge, learned by his ancestors, were dug up and brought out. Buck proceeded to lose all the fat in his body and replace it with muscle. Buck was no longer Judge Miller’s pet. He was a machine of survival and triumph. Most Southland dogs like him ended up dead because of their inability to conform. Buck was born to lead the team, but one dog would do everything possible to try and keep him down. This dog’s name was Spitz. Spitz was a white wolf dog who was a proven champion in confrontation and was as crafty as they come. It was clear that he and Buck would not work well together. When dogs have confrontation in the Klondike, only one survives. This was because of a law called fang. The law of Fang is such that, when two dogs fight and one is knocked to the ground, that is it. The rest of the spectators will instantly pounce on the downed dog and make quick work of it. All of these unspoken rules had turned Buck into the Best dog to ever roam the Klondike. Buck did eventually fight Spitz and send him to his death. After all of the transformations and cruelty he had been through, you would think that Buck would never be able to trust another human. He was being starved to death by a gold seeking group who had not brought enough food for the dogs. When Buck could finally not move another step, a man from the group started to beat Buck. As the blows grew less and less painful, and he was fading farther and farther, Buck knew he was dying. While Buck was being beaten, a man named John Thornton came fort and took Buck from his attacker. The man nursed Buck back to health, and from that day forward, Buck lived for that man. Buck loved him with all his being. After being with this man for quite some time, Buck started to hear a call from far away. He started paying more and more attention to this call. He went out for days at a time searching for it’s source. This call was the call of the wild. He had a will to go off and be with other dogs. He felt the urge to be free from man and catch his own food. One day, Buck finally left for good. He was excepted by a pack of wolves who treated him like a wolf himself. And so the transformation was complete. Buck had changed from a dog, to a beast of nature.