Studying The Icon, Jack London: America turn of the century Influence.

Essay by heraclitusHigh School, 11th grade December 2008

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Jack London's detailed and expressive literature help readers experience what America was like back in the turn of the century. His descriptive story's offer an insight into the harsh struggle many people had to endure in the early 1900's. When Jack was young, he faced many difficulties which led to many of his ideas about the human condition. In his travels, he learned about the struggles people faced in their daily lives. He started with nothing and worked his way up to a wealthy land owner. His belief in hard work became an area of focus for his writing. All of these things and more contributed to his overall style of writing and engaged people in the struggle of man.

Jack London's life was nothing close to luxurious he himself had many hardships, which in turn made is writing more profound. He has spent time as a hobo and once spent thirty days in jail for vagrancy.

Despite his bond with the common man, he had a strong urge to rise above it. He once stated "I write a book for no other reason than to add thirty or forty acres to my magnificent estate." His socialist ideals were in sharp contrast to his lust for more land. During his time in the Yukon, he started a new chapter of struggle in his life which also lead to many of his successful stories. His style of writing really evoked the era and hardships faced by people and animals there. In "In a Far Country" London writes, "the fear of the north, the mental strain, and the ravages of the disease, the lost all semblance of humanity, taking on the appearance of wild beasts, hunted and desperate." This type of descriptive writing lent people into the minds of the everyday hard working, adventurous, troubled people of the early 1900's.

Ultimately, it is apparent that Jack London's writing had a profound impact on the minds of many people in the early 1900's and still does today. His stories of naturalism show people the true way of life as seen by the lower and middle class. He shows that fighting the elements is a classic struggle where a persons being can be tested and improved by means of self realization. Through Jack London's challenging and difficult childhood he showed that he was able to over come and become a successful writer and thus he was able to inspire others to follow his example, to overcome in there own personal issues. Jack London once said, "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." I think this quote really holds true to the beliefs that Jack London had and the overall attitude of the early 1900's.

bibliographies:"In a Far Country" by Jack LondonJack London's Biography