Jack London's Life

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1987 Words
Date:  2022-11-25

Jack London was born near San Francisco in the late 19th century. Jack's parents divorced, and his mother remarried. Although London and his household were poor, he did not let that stop him from being one of the most prominent writers in American history. London focused his life in books and wrote numerous books. The 'Call of the Wild' is one of his most prominent books he ever wrote. The book was set after his attempted journey to Klondike, where he had gone to search for gold. Additionally, London married twice and has two children in his first marriage (Morgan, 23). The research paper examines Jack London's life focusing on key events of his life such as his early life, first marriage, trip to the Klondike gold rush, second marriage, the rise of fame being an author and his death.

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Early Life

Jack London, also referred to as John Griffith Chaney was born on 12th, January 1876, in San Francisco, California. Flora Wellman was his mother, and a son to William Chaney, a lawyer, reporter and liberal leader in the new discipline of American clairvoyance. London's father never participated in his upbringing, and his mother married John London, a Civil War veteran, who shifted his new family around the Bay Area before settling in Oakland. As Jack grew up, he became tough from battling bullies and in spite of moderately small stature; he acquired a reputation for his cunning capability to fight. London learned to work when he was a young boy. He stamped his own life as a teenager. He steered trains, shoveled coal, reproduced oysters, sailed ship on the Pacific and worked at a canning store (Espinoza, 67). During leisure time, Jack went to the public library and read stories as well as journey publications.

At the age of 10, London vended newspapers to assist his family in making ends meet. At 14 years, London underwent graduation from Grammar College. Since his family did not have money to take him to high school, he went to work in a cannery. During that time, he started to prefer spending time in a library due to the encouragement of a local librarian. The books provided knowledge of life outside Oakland. The more Jack preserved scrapes, the more his desire for an escape grew. This was mainly manifested through alcohol. London usually got drunk in the local parlors after work. In the drinking sites, he met sailors, harpooners, whalers, and sealers. He took a chance to become a pirate, where he sailed the San Francisco Bay, pirating oysters from other farmers. After having fun for three months, he went back to San Francisco area after the job ended (London, 12). In San Francisco, he got the job at a local patrol fish patrol chasing poachers.

After his return to California, London moved across the U.S. in his newly found job and eventually found himself in his mother's kitchen. He resolved to help his family and end his homelessness ways. The time outside his homemade London realize that he needed education more than ever. At the age of nineteen, he chose to go back to high school. He was tasked with studying and earning a living. He became interested in political philosophy, particularly collectivism. London desired to enter the radical association but was more focused on completing high school and joining college. His participation in the Socialist Labor Party caused his expulsion from school. Jack was forced to study on his own for admission tests to the University of Californian at Berkeley. After joining the University of California, he dropped out after six months either due to disappointment or needed money to care for his family (Shivers, 32). He started to pursue writing interest and was on the Klondike gold rush journey.

First Marriage

In 1900, London married Bess Maddern, the same day 'The Son of the Wolf' was printed. Bessie had been an associate in his sphere of acquaintances for some years. Maddern was associated with stage performers Emily Stevens and Minnie Maddern Fiske. London and Maddern approved that their marriage was not based on love but from relationship and conviction that they would conceive intellectual kids. London had made it known to Maddern that he did not adore her, but he loved her in a way to make a prosperous marriage (Shivers, 28).

London met Bess through his acquaintance at Oakland High School, Fred Jacobs; she was Fred's girlfriend. Bess, who lectured at Anderson's University Academy in Alameda, California, trained Jack in training for his admission tests for the University of California at Berkeley in 1896. Jacobs died when aboard USAT Scandia in 1897, but Jack and Bess continued their relationship, which entailed photographs and creating a film together. This became the start of Jack's desire for filmmaking (Shivers, 29).

Jack's pet name for Bessie was 'Mother-Girl' and while her wife referred to her as 'Daddy-Boy.' On Jan 15, 1901, Bessie and London were blessed with their first kid, Joan. On October 20, 1902, their second-born, Becky was born. At that time, London and Bess lived in Piedmont, California. London adored his children despite having a strained marriage. In 1903, the couple realized that they were completely incompatible and were close to separation (Shivers, 30). In 1904, Jack and Bessie mediated the positions of a split-up and finalized the separation the same year.

Trip to the Klondike Gold Rush

Swept up in the Gold Rush in 1897, young Jack London moved north to strike it rich in the Klondike and discovered something more valuable than gold-the seeds of the narratives that would flower into his classic novel. The entire nation was swiftly grasped with gold fever, and Jack was not insusceptible. The North inspired him with an opportunity for an escapade and to earn wealth that would eventually permit his household to live contentedly and free him to make a vocation as an author without having to fear for the constant pressure of bills and hunger (Wagner, 29).

London acquired the finances for his quest from his step-sister in return for consenting to take her sickly and old spouse together with him. London used the funds to acquire a nearly 2,000-pound kit of provisions for the two associates and then embarked a steamer for the 8-day journey up to Seattle and onto Juneau.

There were multiple routes to the gold mines. Some followed the land course through the Canadian West. Others used the steamship up the Yukon River from Alaska. But many people, like Jack, reserved route on one of the multiple steamers leaving from harbors like San Francisco, navigated up the Inside Passage to the Lynn Canal and then debarked at Dyea or Skagway in the Dyea Inlet. After reaching Dyea, London would have to carry his gear through the Chilkoot Pass to Lindemann Lake, the head of navigation on the Yukon River. In the great tent city and on the shore of Lindemann Lake, London and his three cohorts established a pair of flat-bottomed boats he named Yukon Belle and the Belle of the Yukon to transport them downstream to Dawson. Everything around them filled them with the hope that they would navigate the river successfully and reach the gold fields. It was a race that every person understood that the first to arrive would take the best gold.

London's initial test was the pair of waterfalls at Miles Canyon and Whitehorse. London and his colleagues had an alternative. They were torn between navigating the waterfalls or risk everything and pass through them in a matter of minutes. They voted within themselves and decided to cross through the rapids. Spectators applauded them as they successfully steered through the waters. Over the next few days, they helped steer 120 boats through the rapids and earned twenty-five dollars per journey. However, their impatience for the gold field forced them to abandon the rapids fortune (Wagner, 32).

Many voyagers, in their gullibility, did not understand that Klondike was not situated anywhere their ship would dock but was located over 500 miles to the north in the heart of the Canadian Yukon. The torturous boat and foot journey made some men, including London's brother-in-law to return home. Having researched the topography of the land and a previous mineworker's narration before starting the journey, London was better prepared than most voyagers. He had a notion of what he was likely to encounter and understood that the first leg of the voyage was about a 28-mile difficult trek to Lake Lindeman. Majority of the new influxes had realized that they could pay the native at affordable rates to carry their packs for them along the way. But the native porters, taking advantage of the huge demand for their services, were charging a large sum of thirty cents per pound (Wagner, 27). The Canadian Mounties required those who desired to cross the boundary to have a year's stock of food and gear.

London was already decided on his journey, both physically and mentally. He separated his half-ton kit into around a dozen smaller roads and would take each load a mile, store it and then return for another. This showed that every mile of frontward progress needed about 25 miles of walking, half of them while carrying 75-100 pound of supplies. London savored the physical challenge and prided in his capability to outpace most of the indigenous porters.

After scarcely making it over Lake Laberge, Jack and his colleagues choose to settle in and hole up in the cottages of an uninhibited mining campsite. They were about 75 miles from Dawson, yet Yukon River was already icing. The voyagers thought that they would try their luck in that place. In that mining camp, they had met demotivated Klondikers on a return voyage who told them that the gold materials were non-existent. However, in the nearby Henderson Creek, London found a bit of gold dust. He later traveled to Dawson to record it. By the time London had finished a huge hike through the ice to go back to the camp, winter had already set in. When the weather became favorable, London would venture out and dig out the creek in search of gold (Wagner, 30).

After being away for about a year, Jack returned home, weakened and destitute. His voyage to the Klondike had amassed him nothing but $4.50 in gold dust. But the encounter had offered him with experience to write about. More openly, the voyage polished him with a supply of rich materials that he would excavate again, rotating his opinions of the icy North into blockbusting novels that would propel him to the elevations of prosperity.

Second Marriage

After separating with Bessie, London married Charmian Kittredge in 1905. He first met Kittredge in 1900 courtesy of her aunt Netta Earnes, who worked as a publishing supervisor at Overland Monthly Magazine in San Francisco. Two couples met before London's first marriage but became a couple years later after he visited Netta Earnes' Sonoma County Resort together with Bessie. London fell from a cart and was injured prompting Netta to arrange for Charmian to take care of him. London and Charmian initiated a bond which would later lead to marriage. His marriage with Charmian was not blessed with children. One kid passed on at delivery while another pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage (Mathis, 40).

Rise of Fame being an Author

Jack London is one of the most prominent American novelists. He authored numerous great books over his short lifetime. Most of his narratives are about animals and nature, which most people can associate with. Because of his prominent stories, he became financially stable. London's books are read in most grade schools in America. To indicate that he was a great author would be an underestimation. Jack London authored the novel 'The Call of the Wild' which comprises themes including the themes of the myth of the hero, the double and survival of the fittest.

London's life as an author mainly started in 1893. In the same year, he had experienced a disturbing sailing...

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Jack London's Life. (2022, Nov 25). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/jack-londons-life

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