The Life of Jack London

Nehézségi szint: KÖZÉPFOK B2 (Szerző: Chris Scully)

Jack London az egyik első világirodalmi rangú amerikai író, népszerűsége mind a mai napig töretlen. Az emberi társadalom megreformálásáért küzdött, legkedvesebb szereplői vakmerő kalandorok, „éneklő” és „beszélő” kutyák, legkedvesebb színterei az erdő és a tenger voltak.

The Life of Jack London

1)Jack London was born John Griffith Chaney on January 12, 1876, in the slums of San Francisco, California. His father who was a wandering astrologer abandoned his mother before the birth. Later Jack took the name of his stepfather London who had married his mother, a spiritualist and they raised him in Oakland, California. Life for them was extremely poor. Jack finally had enough of the conditions of poverty and left home and school aged 14 in order to explore the San Francisco bay in his sloop.

2)He survived by stealing oysters or working for the government fish patrol. As a sailor his adventurous spirit took him to Japan. And returning as an unemployed and homeless person he rode freight trains as a hobo. Joining other unemployed men, who travelled the country on these trains searching for work or food he became a member of Charles T. Kelly’s industrial army (one of the many protest armies of the unemployed, that resulted from the financial panic of 1893). His experiences of these depression conditions, led to his imprisonment for vagrancy, and finally, in 1894, he became a militant socialist.

3)Jack London was an auto-didact and educated himself in libraries on many philosophical and political works which can be seen in his fiction – such as Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche. He then completed a 4 year high school course in one year and entered Berkeley University, but quit to seek his fortune in the Klondike gold rush.

4)After a year he returned broke and turned his hand to writing mostly to support his mother after his step-father died. This again he went about in a characteristic fashion by studying magazines and then began writing ballads and sonnets and 1000 words every day, that could all be sold. He attacked his task with relish and became extremely productive and successful.

5)In 17 years, he wrote 50 books of fiction and non-fiction, but his income could never keep up with his spending as he explored or lived his very full life. He continued to write and explore telling of his South Pacific adventures and ended as America’s most highly paid writer in his large mansion – Wolf House in Glen Ellen, California where he died November 22, 1916.


abandoned      adventurous spirit          astrologer                    astrology        attack             auto-didact              ballads             broke        fashion              fortune           freight trains        hobo            industrial              imprisonment       militant    oyster    panic             patrol            relish             sloop       socialist     slum           sonnets        spiritualism      spiritualist        turn your  hand to                   vagrancy                            wander


1  A _______ is a poor area of a town where the houses are in very bad condition (para. 1)

2 To ________ is to travel from place to place, especially on foot, without a particular direction or purpose (para.1)

3 ___________ is the study of the movement of the stars and planets and how some people think they influence people’s characters and lives (p1 ref.word)

4 An _________someone who studies astrology to tell people about their lives (p1)

5 If someone is _________ they are left alone by someone who should stay with you and look after you (p1)

6 _____________ is the belief that dead people are able to communicate with people who are still alive (p1ref.word)

7 A ___________ is a person who practices spiritualism. (p1)

8 An _______ is a type of shellfish that has a rough shell and is eaten as food, often raw. Some types contain pearls. (p2)

9 A _______ is a group of people or vehicles that move around a place in order to prevent trouble or crime

10 To be an ________ _________ is to have the desire to face scary or difficult situations and explore

11 _________ are goods that are carried by vehicles

12 A _______ is someone who travels from place to place because they do not have a home or a job. (US)

13 _________ is a word used to talk about people who work in industry

14 ________ is a sudden strong feeling of fear or worry that makes you unable to think clearly or calmly

15 ____________ is the punishment of being put into prison.

16 ___________ is the crime of living on the street and asking people for money

17 A _________ is a person using extreme methods to make political or social change

18 A _________ is someone who believes workers should own and control goods and services instead of private companies

19 An____ _________ is a person who has taught themselves rather than receiving formal education

20  ________ is money and success

21 To be  _______ is to have no money

22 If you say that someone could _____ their _____ to an activity or skill, you mean they could do it well, despite having no experience of it.

23 Doing some in a certain ________ means to do it in a characteristic way

24 A _________ is a long poem that tells a story.

25 A _________ is a type of poem with 14 lines and regular rhymes

26 When you _________ a problem you begin working on something or doing something with enthusiasm and determination

27 To ________ is to get great pleasure or satisfaction from something

28 A ________ is a boat with sails and only one mast (para.1)


Ellenőrző kérdések

  1. Jack London was originally called ….
  2. Which city and state was he was born in?
  3. He sought his fortune in the _______ gold rush
  4. How many books did he write in 17 years?



1 Slum

2 wander

3 astrology

4 astrology

5 abandoned

6 spiritualism

7 spiritualist

8 Oyster

9 patrol

10 adventurous spirit

11 freight

12 hobo

13 industrial

14 panic

15 imprisonment

16 vagrancy

17 militant

18 socialist

19 auto-didact

20 fortune

21 broke

22 turn your hand to

23 fashion

24 ballads

25 sonnets

26 attack

27 relish

28 sloop

Ellenőrző kérdések

A John Griffith Chaney

B San Francisco, California

C  Klondike

D 50 books

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