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Word Count: 1,127
I would rather be ashes than dust I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dryrot I would rather be a superb meteor every atom of me in magnificent glow than a sleepy and permanent planet The proper function of man is to live not to exist I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them I shall use my time --Jack London Jack London fought his way up from a life of hard factory labor in Oakland California to become the highest paid most popular author of his time His writing questioned the meaning of life and death and captured the very essence the natural struggle to survive Drawing on his own experiences in Alaska at sea and as a hobo he wove his thoughts into adventurous stories expressing his own struggle in life The trials and tribulations Jack London faced instilled in his work a sense of truth and realism that appealed to millions of people around the world Jack London was born in San Francisco on January 12 1876 He was the only child of an irritable spiritualist Flora Wellman and William Chaney an itinerant astrologer who abandoned Jack and his mother nine months after Jacks birth Flora Wellman married John London a widower and father of two in September of 1876 John London gave his name to Floras illegitimate child and it was not until his college days that Jack learned the truth about his birth Flora London whose own family in Ohio had been wealthy and socially prominent was pretentious prejudiced ambitious and not very affectionate toward her son Gale 2 Jacks stepfather however was a devoted family man but he was often unable to work due to
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