The Life and Writings of Jack London Essay

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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
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“I always could read and write, and have no recollection antedating such a condition. Folks say that I simply insisted upon being taught” London once recalled (London). In addition to living in extreme poverty, London’s family also moved quite frequently. Daunting financial problems affected him his whole life. One of the most significant factors in London’s development was his conscious rejection of the occult, the supernatural, and the mystical- all of which he associated with his mother’s cold spirituality (Jack London). His childhood provided many topics which London could give first hand accounts on. He could write accurately about growing up without ‘T.L.C.’, growing up in poverty and loneliness in childhood.
Sailors, hobos, Klondike Argonauts, social crusaders, war correspondents, scientific farmers, self-made millionaires, global travelers and adventurers. What do these diverse traits all have in common? Well, Jack London filled each position at least once in his life. London’s childhood consisted of great amounts of toil. So why would anyone be surprised that he ran off and took a job that is physically tough? At the youthful age of seventeen, London took a daunting position on a seal ship where he sailed to Japan and the Bearing Sea. Further more, he picked up the job of oyster pirating but quickly reconsidered since a majority of his comrades were being caught

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