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It appears that many famous people lived through a poor childhood. Jack London had an immensely rough childhood stricken with poverty and uncertainty, yet he is one of the most famous writers of the twentieth century. London’s lack of stability in his life and the various stages he lived through such as being a sailor, hobo, Klondike Argonaut, and self-made millionaire colored the pages of his writing.Lack of stability in a child’s life can be a detrimental factor in a youth’s ability to succeed. London was an illegitimate child of an astrologer and Welsh farm girl (Jack London Encyclopedia of World Biography). Unfortunately, when London’s birth father received word of London’s conception, he fled. London’s mother, Flora Wellman, was stricken with Typhoid, a deadly disease that effected vast numbers of people in their day. Due to her sickness, she was unable to nurse her new son. Mrs. Virginia Prentiss was the wet-nurse they hired. Forlornly, she had recently lost her own child. Wellman half-heartedly married John London on September 7th 1876. It is thought that this marriage was for convenience more so than love since Jack London needed a fatherly figure and John London’s daughter (recently lost their mother) need a motherly figure in their lives. John was not able to support the family (financially) as needed, so London had to get a job early in life. He started with small part-time jobs and eventually worked his way up to a full-time job at West Oakland Cannery. London was considered a deprived youth (Jack London). “My body and soul were starved when I was a child,” explained London (Jack London). What London meant by saying his soul was starved as a child was that he didn’t have access to a great education. It wasn’t until …

…it could write about it. Research can only take a person so far in the quest for knowledge. The only way to fully grasp a subject is to get hands on experience. This book made millions, which by definition made Jack London a self-made millionaire.Hard labor as a kid, and unstable childhood. These are topics for the stories Jack London wrote. Being a man of many traits, London always searched for adventure whether it was being a sailor to a Klondike Argonaut. These excursions provided him topics on which he could give first hand accounts on. His life with all its associated challenges colored the pages of his many great novels.

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Works Cited

Labor, Earle. “Jack London.” DISCovering Authors. Online ed. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resource Center – Gold. Gale. N. pag. 2 Mar. 2010″Jack London.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. Vol. 9, 495. Detroit: Gale. Print

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