Jack London’s Sea Wolf, The Call of the Wild, and White Fang Jack London lived a full life, even though he died at the young age of forty. In his life time he experienced many things, and I believe that these experiences were the catalyst of his novels. Jack London was an oyster pirate, a government patrolman in San Francisco Bay, a sailor and an agrarian reformer, a seal hunter in the North Pacific and a gold prospector in the frozen Klondike, a war correspondent and a prizefighting reporter, a socialist soapbox orator who later became a lecturer at universities, a family man and landowner, and of course a true American writer. A critic by the name of Alfred Kazin once said “that the greatest story London ever wrote was the one he lived.”
London had a hard life as a child and as a young man, in spite of this London grew to become one of Americas most popular and highly paid authors ever. He was not a baby boomer. This was not just an American thing, London was known around the world for his great adventure stories, that could be enjoyed by all ages. Londons life was diversified and so were his writings. Today, London is mostly known for his “dog stories”, The Call of the Wild and White Fang. In addition to those great works London wrote many other stories and novels, all of which were published in the seventeen years that he wrote professionally. Londons writings vary in quality as well as in subject, his from the cheapest and worst kind of pieces to the beautiful works like The Call of the Wild and Sea Wolf. In this literary analysis the focus will be on Londons more well known and enjoyed works.
Londons life defiantly coincides with his writing. Professor Earle Labor attributes London’s success as a writer to three different factors: poverty- how London rose from the bottom all the way to the top, wanderlust- the fact that he spent a good portion of his life on the road gave him ample material to write about, and last but not least was, “the omnivorous appetite for reading that gave him his philosophical substance and sense of artistic form.”
London was a complex individual whose character was made up of apparent contradictions. He was a declared socialist, but above all, a devout individualist. He believed in the politics and economics of socialism and decried the iniquities Of capitalism, but at the same time set out to succeed within that system.