The Call Of Jack London
During a time when man had gold fever, and
philosophical views plagued the minds of many, one man took
these views and turned them into great outdoor adventures.
John “Jack” Griffith London, a twentieth century author,
wrote The Call of the Wild, other novels, and short stories
that depict the philosophical views of the time and added
adventure to them by using his own life experiences that
carried thousands of men including himself to the Klondike
in search of gold.
In Winter 1876 San Francisco John and Flora London
shared the joy of childbirth in the celebration of their
only child together. They named the baby boy John Griffith
London, or Jack for short. He became the twelfth child of
his father, for through his first marriage he had eleven
children. Jack London’s family was stricken by poverty.
His father had many trades, however worked mainly in truck
gardening(McCracken 370). After Jack’s graduation from
grammar school, which he attended in Oakland, Jack read many
novels, mainly ones about romance, travel, and adventure.
He took many odd jobs to make ends meet(Comptons Interactive
Jack had ambitions for a life at sea. At age fifteen
Jack London bought a boat of his own, called Razzle Dazzle.
He became an oyster pirate, sailing the San Francisco Bay
robbing oyster beds and becoming a heavy drinker. Jack had
many hard times. He spent some time as a hobo and spent
some time in prison. At the age of nineteen he entered high
school. Hard work enabled him the privilege of attending
The University of California at Berkley. Less than a year
passed and he gave up school to try and support his family
and persue a writing career. He did not sell any of his
work(Kunitz and Haycraft 844).
He joined the gold rush to the Klondike in the summer
of 1897. The group stopped along the Yukon near about the
Stewert River for winter. London became vary ill with
Scurvy and was forced south for survival. Upon his re entry
to San Francisco Jack learned of his fathers death. He
could not find work of any kind, so once again he tried his
hand at writing. His first writing, a story about life on
the Yukon, was accepted by a magazine called Overlan…
…ty. This is
illustrated in a quote from the book, “His cunning was wolf
cunning…his intelligence, shepherd intelligence and St.
Bernard intelligence.”(London) “London’s unusual subject
allows him to see virtues in return to an aboriginal state
that could not be found if humans were the subject.”(Magill
1148) He also uses the literary element of contrast to
bring effect to his novel. For instance when “Buck is at
his most savage he is also most completely fulfilling his
potential utulizing his brain, muscles, and heart to the
Jack London had a life full of ups and downs . He used
ideas of philosophy that affected the world to inspire all
of his writings as well as the ideas of his own experiences
and of the great adventures celebrated in the age of time.
He used ideas of Charles Darwin, racial hierarchy, and the
American Credo of success to inspire his writings. Once he
tried to make it to Alaska himself, so he was able to use
some of what he experienced to add realistic adventure to
his stories. All elements of his life and his era helped
make him one of the greatest adventure writers of the