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Martin Eden at Elisha Cuthbert Photos


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Books:

Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf



Martin Eden at Elisha Cuthbert Photos

This book is a favorite among writers, who relate to Martin Eden's speculation that when he mailed off a manuscript, 'there was no human editor at the other end, but a mere cunning arrangement of cogs that changed the manuscript from one envelope to another and stuck on the stamps,' returning it automatically with a rejection slip.
While some readers believe there is some resemblance between them, an important difference between Jack London and Martin Eden is that Martin Eden rejects socialism (attacking it as 'slave morality') and relies on a Nietzschean individualism.


Plot summary

Living in Oakland at the dawn of the 20th century, Martin Eden struggles to rise far above his destitute circumstances through an intense and passionate pursuit of self-education in order to achieve a coveted place among the literary elite. The main driving force behind Martin Eden's efforts is his love for Ruth Morse.
Just before the literary establishment discovers Eden’s talents as a writer and lavishes him with the fame and fortune that he had incessantly promised Ruth (for the last two years) would come, she loses her patience and rejects him in a wistful letter: "if only you had settled down…and attempted to make something of yourself." When the publishers and the bourgeois - the very ones who shunned him - are finally at his feet, Martin has already begrudged them and become jaded by unrequited toil and love. Instead of enjoying his success, Eden retreats into a quiet indifference, only interrupted to mentally rail against the genteelness of bourgeois society or to donate his new wealth to working class friends and family.
The novel ends with Martin Eden committing suicide by drowning, a detail which undoubtedly contributed to what researcher Clarice Stasz calls the 'biographical myth' that Jack London's own death was a suicide.


Table of content - pages:

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