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ID number:602356
Evaluation:
Published: 20.11.2005.
Language: English
Level: Secondary school
Literature: 5 units
References: Not used
Table of contents
Nr. Chapter  Page.
1.  The Biography of the Jack London    2
2.  The Plot    4
3.  The Setting    5
4.  The Major Characters of the Novel    6
5.  The Mood and Atmosphere    9
6.  The Extract (Eng. Version)    10
7.  Translation of the Extract    11
8.  Phrases and Expressions    12
9.  Evaluation of the Novel    13
10.  References    15
Extract

The Biography of Jack London


John London was born on January 12, 1876. His mother, Flora, felt weak after the childbirth, so the boy was raised through infancy by an ex-slave, Virginia Prentiss, who would remain a major maternal figure while the boy grew up. It was during this time when Jack’s father, William Chaney, deserted Flora. After a few month of the dark period in her life, Flora met John London, a partially disabled Civil War veteran with two daughters of his own. Both of them were like mother to Jack when he returned to his family eight month later.
Soon the Londons moved to Oakland where Jack where Jack completed grammar school. As an adolescent, the boy adopted the name of Jack. He worked at various hard labor jobs, pirated for oysters on San Francisco Bay, served on a fish patrol to capture poachers, sailed the Pacific on a sealing ship, joined Kelly's Army of unemployed working men, wandered around the country, and returned to attend high school at age 19. In the process, he became acquainted with socialism and was known as the Boy Socialist of Oakland for his street corner oratory. He would run unsuccessfully several times on the socialist ticket as mayor. Always a prolific reader, he consciously chose to become a writer to escape from the horrific prospects of life as a factory worker. He studied other writers and began to submit stories, jokes, and poems to various publications, mostly without success.
In 1898 the Klondike gold rush hit and Jack journeyed north in hope of finding a better life. Instead of earthly riches Jack discovered a new world of nature that influenced his future writing. Returning to Oakland, he wrote a short story “An Odyssey of the North” in the “Overland Monthly” in 1899 which achieved critical success for its virility and vivid descriptions. The story gave a start for Jack’s further over fifty volumes of stories, novels, and political essays. During this time Jack London got married to Bess Maddern with whom he had two daughters, Joan and Bess. It is said that in choosing her, he followed the precept in a book he co-wrote with Anna Strunsky, “The Kempton-Wace Letters”, claiming that mates should be selected for good breeding, not love. However, his concept changed when he met Charmian Kittredge whom he married in 1905 and who remained faithful to him despite all his mood changes until he died from the developed kidney disease of unknown origin on November 22, 1916.
Jack London was among the first writers to work with the movie industry, and saw a number of his novels made into films. His novel The Sea-Wolf became the basis for the first full-length American movie. He was also one of the first celebrities to use his endorsement for commercial products in advertising, including dress suits and grape juice.

The Plot

Two men, Bill and Henry, with a team of six dogs are pulling a sled on which lays a coffin, and heading down a frozen waterway. Every night they get short of one dog who, as they discover later, is lured by a she-wolf and eater by the pack. Bill, having three cartridges left, decides to put an end to the wolves’ attack and save the remaining dogs. However, miscalculating his strength and opportunities he misses and is eaten up with one of the dogs. Henry with two of his remained dogs makes a fire and tries to keep the wolves away. When the last hope is gone and he gives up the struggle, a company of men arrive who save him from the savage death.
Meanwhile the wolves are in the midst of a famine and continue on their way. When they finally find food the pack spits up leaving us with the she-wolf and two wolves the opposite gender. She-wolf mates with one of the wolves with whom she later has five cubs. Due to the famine only one of the cubs survives who grows into a strong and skilful pup.

Translation of the Extract into Latvian

Pavasara beigās pār Balto Ilkni nāca lielas nepatikšanas. Bez jebkāda brīdinājuma pazuda viņa mīlestības saimnieks. Par to tika brīdināts, taču Baltais Ilknis šajā jomā nebija lietpratējs un nesaprata ceļasomu sakravāšanas nozīmi. Viņš vēlāk atcerējās, ka šāda veida sakravāšanai sekoja saimnieka pazušana; taču tajā pašā laikā viņš neko nenojauta. Tonakt Baltais Ilknis gaidīja saimnieku atgriešanos... Pusnaktī aukstais vējš, kas pūta uz viņu, lika tam patverties mājiņas mugurpusē. Tur viņš nosnaudās tikai pusmiegā, taču viņa ausis bija noskaņojās uz pirmā pazīstamā soļa skaņu. Taču, divos naktī, viņa bažas lika tam iziet aukstumā pie priekšējā lieveņa, kur viņš apsēdās un gaidīja.
Tomēr saimnieks neatgriezās. Rīta agrumā durvis pavērās, un Mets spēra soli ārā. Baltais Ilknis ilgi raudzījās viņā. Starp tiem nebija kopējas valodas, kura palīdzētu tam uzzināt, ko viņš vēlējās izdabāt. Dienas nāca un gāja, taču ne saimnieks. Baltais Ilknis, kurš visas savas dzīves garumā nepazina slimību, saslima. Viņš ļoti saslima, tik ļoti, ka Mets bija spiests ienest viņu mājiņā. Un tā, kad viņš rakstīja savam darbadevējam, Mets veltīja postskriptu Baltajam Ilknim.

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