Character Development in the Novel's Human Characters

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The wolf is the hero of White Fang, and although his interactions with humans are an important part of his story, even in those interactions the animals remain at center stage. The humans are there to help Jack London demonstrate how the wolf’s temperament and destiny are shaped by all the individuals and elements that enter into his sphere of existence. In this respect, the novel’s human characters are equivalent to the rest of the supporting cast, from the pack of puppies who mark White Fang as an outcast to the harsh wilderness that challenges him throughout much of his life. Because the role of humans in the novel is peripheral and because London creates several human characters to show the full range of humanity’s possible impacts on White Fang, it would not be surprising if each one were drawn very cursorily in two dimensions. If these characters had been stereotypes, many readers, attention riveted on White Fang by the author’s design, would not have noticed. Those alert readers who did notice would no doubt have excused the lapse, as they excuse similar lapses in a thousand other engaging stories. After all, even great artists give less attention to the figures in the backgrounds of complex paintings than they do to the central figures. And, if White Fang’s human characters had been stereotypes, it would have given critics who denied London the title of literary author something to sink their teeth into.

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But, significantly (and with one exception), these characters are not two-dimensional or entirely predictable or stereotypical. Even though they are developed only as fully as their respective roles in the story demand, they are made complex and lifelike through small details and unexpected actions. Each human character is, indeed, a type who represents a broad slice of humanity. But each is also an individual who says and does things that strike the reader as being out of character, which is exactly what makes people—real people and fictional ones—authentic and memorable.

The first characters, human or animal, to appear in White Fang are Bill and Henry, who are trekking through a frozen forest with the mission of delivering the body of the mysterious Lord Alfred to Fort McCurry. Their distinct personalities soon emerge and predict their fates.

The hungry wolf pack is trailing Bill and Henry in the hope of making a meal of them. That much is acknowledged by both men. Bill is a talker and a worrier who expects the worst from the start. Henry is a stoic who speaks only to try to calm Bill and who seems to have no expectations at all. Whatever Henry actually thinks of their prospects, he keeps it to himself. He does not deny the facts— they are being hunted by a pack of forty famished wolves, and they have only three cartridges left for their shotgun—but he also does not allow them to touch his emotions. If he experiences fear, he refuses to give it any quarter or any expression. He knows that his best tool for survival is his mind, and he focuses all his energy there. He thinks, and then he does according to his thoughts. He thinks about when they should make camp in the evening and when they should set out in the morning, and he thinks about what would and would not be a good use of those three precious cartridges. Even when his own situation seems hopeless, he thinks about how to save Lord Alfred’s noble corpse from the wolves. He has been charged with getting it to civilization, and his mind is on his mission, whether he lives to complete it himself or not. He is as detached and dispassionate as the spruce trees and the howling wind and the howling wolves. He devotes all his physical and mental resources to surviving and fulfilling his role for as long as he can, and when death seems certain, he does not whimper but accepts this as another fact. He understands all along the difference between what he can control and what he cannot; he controls what he can and ignores what he cannot. And in the end, his rationality and determination and focus keep him alive just long enough for unexpected help to arrive. Henry survives.

Bill does not. As the wolves devour their dogs one by one and come ever closer to the men, Bill’s mind becomes increasingly disordered. He lets fear destroy his ability to think clearly, and he is impatient. He cannot bear the suspense of not knowing whether he and Henry will survive. And when the She-Wolf lures one of their dogs to its inevitable death in broad daylight, Bill cannot bear to stand by and listen as the dog loses a desperate struggle for its life. He cannot accept life as it is, cannot put his survival above his feelings, and so he ignores Henry’s warning, follows the doomed dog into the woods, fires all three remaining cartridges at the wolves, and is killed and eaten along with the dog.

Henry, of course, represents all individuals, human and animal, who have mastered the law of the survival of the fittest. He accepts that life is a struggle and that eventually he is bound to lose. He understands that his only choice is to struggle as intelligently and determinedly as he can and to surrender himself to fate at the appointed time. Henry lives by his wits, and Bill lives, and dies, by his emotions, which are as worthless and as impotent as Lord Alfred’s noble title is in the wilderness.

But even as they play their parts in this two-man drama with universal applications, Henry and Bill are a couple of regular guys in a tight spot. They sit on the coffin lid to eat their meals, because it is a better seat than the ground. Bill rashly vows that if his latest effort to protect the dogs from the wolves fails, he will not allow himself a cup of coffee in the morning. When he insists, with equal rashness, on keeping that vow and denying himself the one warming pleasure in what could be his last day on Earth, Henry gently tries to make him drink the coffee. Henry knows that Bill’s growing irrationality lessens his own chance of survival, but he accepts this just as he accepts the wolves, without complaint and without ill feeling. He tries to comfort Bill, to calm him, to prevent his final, suicidal mission; and when he fails, he thinks about what to do with Lord Alfred and how to help the dogs pull the sled, and he moves on.

As Henry and Bill are counterparts in the first part of the novel, Beauty Smith and Weedon Scott are counterparts in the last part. Beauty and Weedon represent the worst and the best in humanity, but they, too, are just a couple of guys. Beauty’s behavior is evil and inexcusable, but London forces readers to see him as a human being nonetheless by describing the physical ugliness and deformity that earned him not only the nickname Beauty but also a life as an outcast who has often been the victim of the kind of abuse he heaps on White Fang. There is no redemption for Beauty in the novel and no suggestion that readers should pity him. Yet the parallels between Beauty and White Fang cannot be ignored. White Fang is rehabilitated by love, which suggests that Beauty might be, too, given the opportunity. Beauty is three-dimensional because behind the length and breadth of his evil lies the same potential that lies within all creatures: the potential to be improved by improved circumstances. This is not, today, an inventive way to add depth to a character, but it was much fresher at the time it was written, and it is still credible.

Weedon Scott is, in London’s term, “the lovemaster” to Beauty Smith’s “mad god.” The unique element of Scott’s character is selflessness, the sacrifice of his own best interest for that of another. Henry was kind to Bill in spite of the fact that Bill’s weakness threatened Henry’s survival. But Henry had no choice, because he had no escape from Bill. Bill was a part of his environment that he had to accept, along with the wolves and the cold. Scott represents a greater good because he chooses to make White Fang his responsibility, and he chooses knowing that he is taking on a killer. After rushing into the middle of a dogfight—putting himself in danger not only from the dogs but from a furious Beauty Smith—and struggling to save White Fang, Scott then pays a small fortune for a wolf who is nearly dead. There is nothing in it for him. Two weeks later, the moment Scott unchains a recovering White Fang, the wolf kills one of his sled dogs and bites both Scott and his musher, Matt. Instead of anger, Scott feels deep regret at the thought of shooting White Fang as a hopeless case; he seizes on White Fang’s next action, a knowing dodge when he sees the gun raised, as a reason to believe that the wolf is intelligent enough to be redeemed after all. In coming days, Scott is willing to risk being attacked again to win White Fang’s trust.

And yet, there is this: After Scott has taken White Fang back home to California, he sometimes takes him into town, where a trio of dogs harass White Fang mercilessly. White Fang has learned not to attack dogs, and so he soaks up their abuse for Scott’s sake—until one day Weedon Scott, the icon of unconditional love, addresses this injustice, not by speaking to the dogs’ owners or by taking some other civilized measure, but by giving White Fang permission to kill the dogs. White Fang does so with dispatch, and of course the townspeople henceforth make sure that their dogs do not bother him. Scott’s solution is as effective as it is shocking to readers who thought they knew him. This makes Scott very much like people we have all known, people whom we think we know completely, who one day suddenly do something that makes us recoil and shrug our shoulders and add a question mark to what we have written in our hearts about them. Even people who make unconditional love a habit are not perfect.

There is one more human who is White Fang’s master, the Indian Gray Beaver, and he is the one whom London fails to elevate above stereotype. Although he is not cruel, he is portrayed as being incapable of showing affection toward White Fang. The relationship between the two is strictly pragmatic: Gray Beaver provides food and protection and does not beat White Fang as long as he obeys; White Fang helps pull Gray Beaver’s son’s sled and guards his family and his property. The two have made a covenant, to use London’s word, but after five years Gray Beaver breaks the covenant, and it is whiskey that makes him do it. He at first refuses to sell White Fang to Beauty Smith, but Beauty Smith, the least of all white men, finds it easy to manipulate Gray Beaver. He at first gives him whiskey and then sells him whiskey until the considerable amount that Gray Beaver has earned by trading at the fort is gone. By that time, Gray Beaver is addicted to alcohol and, drunk and broke, finally turns White Fang over to Beauty Smith in return for still more whiskey. He beats White Fang severely when the wolf tries to escape Beauty’s tortures and return to him, and he leaves the fort, and the story, to return, ruined and shamed, to his village. Gray Beaver is a stock character, lacking individuality and vitality. London’s portrayal of White Fang’s Indian master is a distracting weakness in an otherwise strong supporting cast.

Source: Candyce Norvell, Critical Essay on White Fang, in Novels for Students, Gale, 2004.

Is Jack London a Capitalist? No! But Is Certainly Magnifique, by Gosh

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 2575

“Magnifique, by gosh!”

One of the ranch men was driving me from the Glen Ellen station to Jack London’s place in the hills. He was a French Swiss, who had lived in South America before coming to California; and he was giving polyglot expression to his love for the fields, the flowers, the trees, and Jack London. We had come to a crest in the road from whence we could see the startling ruins of the great brown stone pile London built for a home that was burned some months ago, just when it was done.

“Three years we work to build him and someone burn, What a tristesse for me! But Jack London say, ‘Cheer Pierre, we build again.’ ‘Not for a life of you,’ I tell to heem. ‘There is not in me so bigness of heart for a work and a expense.’ But already we cut the trees. One year to—what you call— season? Por Dios! Get up you lassie—Magnifique, by gosh!”

The Londons live in the sprawly old house of an ancient winery that was on the place. It is set in the midst of the quiet hills. Mrs. London has arranged it cleverly, and there is an air of comfort and happiness and work about it as well as sunshine and country calm.

At the end of a long hall running through the center of the house is a door bearing the legend in heavy black letters on a white card: “Hands Off!” Behind this mute but screaming protector the California author is secure until noon. One hundred dollars’ worth of story writing is done there every morning—1000 words at 10 cents a word. This takes between one and two hours. Then the mail is gone through with, and about then a dull booming South Sea gong sounds. The midday meal is ready. The forbidding door opens, an attractive looking man with an adorable smile comes out—tramp, political economist, rancher, philosopher, author—and laugher.

Mr. London was late for lunch this day, but when he got there he made up for lost time—from the point of view of the interviewer—talking swiftly and to the point. I suppose he ate, too. That’s what he was there for; so no doubt he did it. Action and directness seem to be two of his many middle names.

London answers every question one puts to him, quickly, directly and without hedging. Yet he is a very difficult man to interview. The very minute he came into the room, in spite of the blue eyes, in spite of the smile, in spite of a very charming expression, I knew that I was in for it. He has a steel-trap body and a steel-trap mind. He turns this battery on you, and lets it go at you, slam-bangs own success and self-confidence. And he laughs.

“Why have you come to ask me? Out with it! I know your paper didn’t send you up here for nothing. Just to talk to Jack London? Here in California? I’m only interesting to interviewers away from home. All that the papers here can do for me is to misquote and belittle me! No? Say, I know what I’m talking about.

“So you know that when a university girl wandered into the hills in back of Berkeley and was attacked by a tramp the papers said it must have been Jack London? Don’t know about that, eh? Well, do you know that when some Italians sought to play the badger game—do you know what the badger game is? All right! Well, these Italians tried to pull the badger game, and when the victim didn’t come through with the money they cut him up in pieces and dumped him in the bay, or tried to, when they were interrupted.

Do you know what the papers said then? That it must have been Jack London who did it. You don’t believe that? Well, look it up in the files! How long have you been in the newspaper game? It was before your time. But it’s the God’s truth. “Do you belong to the Woman’s Press Club? No? Take a harp! Take two harps! Ever hear that story of Bierce’s about the woman who had committed every sin in the book and went up to be questioned by Saint Peter? He told her to tell all and was just going to send her below, when she said she had been blackballed by the Woman’s Press Club. ‘Come in,’ said Peter. ‘Take a harp! Take two harps!’ But they are no worse than the men’s press club. Of all the flat-footed, bone-headed pinheads! Do you know that they knocked me consistently for twelve years; never as much as invited me to their club, and here the other day I got a letter asking me for $2000 for their clubhouse! Can you beat that?”

“My new novel? I think I’ll call it “The Jacket.” It’s a punch against prison conditions in California. What I have to say in it is just what is said by every well-known criminologist in the world. Everybody who thinks knows it, and they have been hiring little halls and telling it to each other.

“What’s the use of people who all more or less, think the same, getting little halls, and agreeing with one another?”

“I’m trying to get some of these ideas over to fiction readers. Do you know that today it is possible to sentence a man to solitary confinement in California? That it is possible for us to hang a man for assault and battery? That, in fact, last year in 1913 we did hang a man for assault and battery? Jake Oppenheimer was hanged for assault and battery here in your own State, in California. The straitjacket still obtains in our prisons. Didn’t you know that? “Do I put any constructive ideas for prison reform into this novel? No, I do not. I just draw the picture of conditions as they are now. Have I any constructive ideas along those lines? Of course I have. I would turn prisons into hospitals. My basic belief is one of pure determinism. Each person moves along a line of least resistance. We do what is easier for, us to do than not to do. We can’t help doing what we do.”

“If I’m short-sighted and bump into posts, I’m not to blame. It’s because of my short sight. I ought to get glasses? Of course. That is just it! If I break our so-called laws, I can’t help it. I do it because I am sick. There is something wrong with me, I’m a sick man. And I need doctors. I need all the skilled science of the twentieth century to investigate and see, and try if anything can be done for me to keep from doing what is hurtful to the whole body of my fellow-creatures. The whole school of scientific criminology is with me in this. It’s only the fools who are not.

“Do I believe in capital punishment? No, I do not. It is too silly. I saw a man hanged because he killed another man. And he killed the other man over 25 cents. One said that the other owned the 25 cents. That one said he did not. They began to quarrel and finally, like two bulls in a pasture, they got to fighting; and in the fight one killed the other. So the state hanged him. Oh, the pomp and circumstances with which they stretched that man’s body at the end of a rope! And when it was all over the warden said: ‘Gentlemen, take your hats off!’ It was then that I laughed.”

“Am I still a Socialist? I’m in the same position that I’ve always been. Now they call it Syndicalism. I’m a Syndicalist. I believe in taking over, by whatever means necessary, the existing forms of government. The Boston Tea Party was an expression of that kind of feeling. Revolution? What about it? Our Pinker-tons, our police, our soldiers— they are all organized for an allied purpose, the purpose of banging an offensive foreign substance into another man’s body. But after all, Syndicalism is only a blind expression of personal feeling, of emotion.”

“I have been interested in the Western Fuel case. And I’ll tell you the point that got me, in that— the absolute horror and consternation of those men when one director was finally found guilty. Well, why not? They feel that they haven’t done anything wrong. And they haven’t. This is their society. The United States is their clubhouse. That same game is going on by gentlemen members all over the clubhouse. Why should these men go to jail?”

“Yet, other men are going to jail—thousands of them—every day. And some of them are going, denied the right of trial by jury, denied the right to plead guilty or not guilty. You don’t believe that? But it is true. I myself have been sent to jail, denied the right of trial by jury; denied the right to plead guilty or not guilty. And my name is legion. What was I doing? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Walking along the streets of a city, when a cop hauled me in.”

“What was I booked for? -Vagrancy, yer Honor.’ I tried to plead not guilty, to explain. The judge didn’t even look at me. ‘Thirty days. And I was yanked aside while the judge went down the line. You must have seen men sentenced like that, dozens of times, haven’t you? Then why do you look at me as though you doubted when I told you men were sentenced to jail without the right to plead? You have heard too much Fourth of July oratory. Be more brass tacks! Lose some of your illusions!”

“It’s your education that’s to blame for your lack of brass tacks, not you. What a training we give to children! If I had a son I would not send him to school until he was ready for the last year of grammar school, and then only that he could get used to our form of democracy. No, I wouldn’t give him a free choice of what he wanted to learn any more than I give a colt a free choice! I’d train him— freedom—but within limits. No, he would not go to a university; not unless he could run faster than I.”

“The reason I quit the university was because I did not have money enough to get through and because I wasn’t getting anything there that I wanted. Do you know what happened to me over there, in that State university at Berkeley, supported by the taxes of the people? I was called out before a whole regiment of students undergoing, as I was, enforced military drill, and I was publically humiliated by an officer of the regular army because my uniform was shabby, because I lacked $40 to buy a new one. My uniform was a second-hand one. I bought it from a fellow for five dollars, and he had bought it from one before him. It was handed down from one poor student to another, and no doubt it did lack style. But was that any reason why the poor boob who had to wear it because he couldn’t get a better one should be humiliated?”

“Do you know who are the arbiters of American literature today? The failures of American literature! Men who could not get a half cent a word for a story of their own, dictate to men who get ten. When I was in New York this time a $6000 a year editor tried to tell me what to do. His magazine pays me $24,000 a year.”

After luncheon Mr. London drove to the station. He drove a light team and handled it well; with all the firm ease one would expect of him. Conversation turned to farming. As the rig wheeled smartly down the country roads, Mr. London would wave the whip hand over the landscape.”

“My land goes to the crest of those mountains there. We stretch the length of that valley. I have 500 acres in vines. These are my eucalypti. I put all these in. Got several hundred acres of them. This road isn’t bad, is it, considering the rains we’ve had? This is my private road. Wait until you come to the county road—a fright. I always keep my own roads up—and my gates.”

“Mr. London,” I asked, widening my eyes to the breadth of valley and mountain that he calls “mine.” “Is there such a thing as a Socialist capitalist?”

“I don’t know,” he answered easily. “When I was in New York I met a man who told me he was a bourgeois anarchist.”

And I was just making a mental note about a clever hedge—when he burst out:

“You mean that for me. But I’m no capitalist. What is a capitalist?”

“One who has capital,” I ventured weakly.

“No, a capitalist is one who lives off capital, who makes money earn money. I don’t. I live off wage, the wages that I coin out of my Own brain. And you don’t think this ranch earns me anything, do you? Why, if I’d die today you wouldn’t believe it if I’d tell you how much in debt I’d be. But that’s my way of getting ahead of the game. If I die owing $200,000 I’m just that much ahead of the game, am I not? If you die owing eight dollars, you’d be just eight dollars to the good, wouldn’t you? Of course, one can take pride in always paying their bills and all that, but somehow that slide to eight bones as a possible debt capacity for me didn’t thrill as it might.”

“What are your ideas about marriage?” I asked. That’s always a good way to change the subject.

“I believe in marriage. The march of civilization has proven out monogamy and shown it to be the best proposition along those lines for the human race. I insist that all the people that work for me be married. I’m not going to have any promiscuity around here.”

“Nor celibacy?”

“I hope not.”

I wanted to ask him if there is such a thing as a socialist dictator, but I knew he was laughing at me.”

For there is something that I haven’t been able to put into this interview, the undercurrent of laughter that is new in Jack London—that laughter that is born of vision and disillusion.

When I was on the train coming back the conductor came right away to punch. “Was that Jack London?” he asked. “That man in the sombrero at the station?”

“That was Mr. Aristophanes,” I told him.

“Guess Jack London isn’t back yet. Pretty smart fellow, all right.” I thought of the words of the French-Swiss ranch-hand:

“Magnifique, by gosh.”

Source: Sophie Treadwell, “Is Jack London a Capitalist? No! But Is Certainly ‘Magnifique, by Gosh!’” in Jack London Journal, No. 3, 1996, pp. 199–203.

The Pessimism of Jack London

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1197

Ten minutes after meeting Jack London, one is impressed by his grim pessimism. He is, confessedly, a pessimist. But, before viewing this phase of London, let us have some small talk about things that may prove interesting even though they may not be of great national importance.

To begin with, he looks much handsomer than his pictures, for the camera never gets his soft, gray eyes. Though 37 years old, he doesn’t appear to be more than 30. He has a magnificent body—a fine form, with nothing pugilistic except his shoulders. He has a chin that doesn’t appear to be of the son to invite dispute. When he laughs, his mouth looks like a Jewelry store window. Dressed simply, he wears a plain ready-made suit of clothes; a soft collared, white shirt and a black silk tie produce a striking effect. His hat is one of those abominable sombreros.

His conversation is decidedly colloquial, having neither the refinement of an over-cultured scholar nor the roughness of a stage westerner. It is just ordinary English, the kind one hears on city street cars and office building elevators. He is quite approachable, always willing to talk streaks just for the asking. His speech is interspersed with mild, harmless oaths. And, here let us give thanks, he doesn’t carry himself with an air of dignity. In brief, he is an open, frank fellow, in appearance more of a good fellow than our common conception of a famous author.

When I saw him he was in the hands of a Los Angeles moving picture man, who was using him to pose before the camera. A company has contracted to have London appear in a number of films that will depict many of his famous stories. These films will begin with London sitting at a desk, pen in hand, cigarette at his elbow, writing one of his tales. Of course, if the moving picture man wanted to be realistic, he would have London seated before a typewriter, but that, it is generally agreed, would be lacking in romance. Authors, in pictures, should pen their stories, not typewrite them. He will scratch away for about 200 feet of film, when the scene will fade, soon to open with the action of the story. So says the manager.

After proper intervals, London will reappear on the screen. Then, it will close with a hundred or more feet of film showing the writer in the act of closing the story and inserting the manuscript in an envelope, intending doubtlessly to send it to the harsh, hardhearted editor. A photoplay of “John Barleycorn,” a serial that appeared in a popular weekly magazine, will be one instance, it is announced by the film managers, where London will actually take pan in the action. As this story is autobiographical, it will add much to have London himself in the cast. His famous trip in the Snark will be included. London’s wife, Charmian, will also appear in this play, it is said.

“Of course,” says London, “I never pretend to be an actor. I don’t know a thing about the profession. I’ll do whatever I’m told, for I am in the hands of my-friends.”

“What, in your opinion, is the effect of the capitalist system on art?” London was asked.

“Awful! Absolutely killing! The editors are not interested in the truth; they don’t want writers to tell the truth. A writer can’t tell a story when it tells the truth, so why should he batter his head against a stone wall? He gives the editors what they want, for he knows that the stuff he believes in and loves to write will never be purchased.”

“What a pleasant view you take!” I said.

“You may wonder why I am a pessimist,” said Mr. London; “I often wonder myself. Here I have the most precious thing in the world—the love of a woman; I have beautiful children; I have lots and lots of money; I have fame as a writer; I have many men working for me; I have a beautiful ranch—and still, I am a pessimist. I look at things dispassionately, scientifically, and everything appears almost hopeless; after long years of labor and development, the people are as bad off as ever. There is a mighty ruling class that intends to hold fast to its possessions. I see years and years of bloodshed.

I see the master class hiring armies of murderers to keep the workers in subjection, to beat them back should they attempt to dispossess the capitalists. That’s why I am a pessimist. I see things in the light of history and the laws of nature.

“I became a Socialist when I was 17 years old. I am still a Socialist, but not of the refined, quietistic school of Socialism. The Socialists, the ghetto Socialists of the east, no longer believe in the strong, firm Socialism of the early days. Mention confiscation in the ghetto of New York and the leaders will throw up their hands in holy horror. I still believe that Socialism should strive to eliminate the capitalist class and wipe away the private ownership of mines, mills, factories, railroads and other social needs. “I do not believe that Socialists should soften and yield, eventually becoming mere reformers whose greatest desire is economy in government and low taxes, and the like. They should take upon themselves the task of doing away with the robbing capitalist system, do away with the profit system and place the workers in possession of the industries.”

“Are you opposed to political action?” Mr. London was asked.

“I believe there is much to be gained by entering political campaigns,” he answered. “The real advantage, in my opinion, is the great opportunity to educate the workers to an understanding of the wrongs of the present system and the means of class consciousness.”

“You think that a peaceful and legal change is impossible?”

“History shows that no master class is ever willing to let go without a quarrel. The capitalists own the governments, the armies and the militia. Don’t you think the capitalists will use these institutions to keep themselves in power? I do.”

“What do you intend to do, Mr. London?”

“I feel that I have done my part. Socialism has cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars. When the time comes I’m going to stay right on my ranch at Glen Ellen and let the revolution go to blazes. I’ve done my part.” After a pause, he added: “That’s the way I feel now. I suppose when the time comes I’ll let my emotions get the best of my intellect and I’ll come down from the mountain top and join the fray.”

“What a grim, pessimistic view you have, Mr. London!”

“Well, I’m a pessimist; I admit.”

As I rose to leave, I shook his hand and said: “Yes, and I think I know the cause of your pessimism.” “Tell me.”

“I feel positive that your liver is out of order.”

Source: Emanuel Julius, “The Pessimism of Jack London,” in Jack London Journal, No. 3, 1996, pp. 189–91.

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