“What Life Means to Me” culminates as a Socialist testimony, but it’s more than manifesto. Beyond its political position, it rings with belief in the human spirit. It affirms the private struggles of individuals passionately pursuing their dreams despite the threats of a lean pocketbook, lifelong obscurity, limitations imposed by class, or the scorn of their contemporaries.
John "Jack" Griffith Chaney was born on 12 January 1876 in San Francisco, California to Flora Wellman (1843-1922) and astrologer William Henry Chaney (1821-1903). Virginia "Jenny" Prentiss (1832-1922), an ex-slave was Jack's wet nurse and would prove to have a great and positive influence on her young charge's life. After Chaney left Flora (they had never married) she wed John London (1828-1897) in 1876. Jack was given his last name and he now had two step-sisters Eliza and Ida. The Londons lived in various places in the Bay area, and while young Jack attended school, there was also pressure on him to help contribute to the family income. At the age of ten he was selling newspapers and learning some hard lessons in life;
I was born in the working-class. Early I discovered enthusiasm, ambition, and ideals; and to satisfy these became the problem of my child-life. My environment was crude and rough and raw. I had no outlook, but an uplook rather. My place in society was at the bottom. Here life offered nothing but sordidness and wretchedness, both of the flesh and the spirit; for here flesh and spirit were alike starved and tormented.--"What Life Means To Me" from (1910)
In 1905, after gaining fame with his novels The Call of the Wild and The Sea-Wolf, published this account of his efforts to "climb up out of the working-class" and enjoy "all that gave decency and dignity to life." As you read this essay, consider the causes of London's disillusionment and the significance of the title, "What Life Means to Me."
Originally published as a pamphlet for the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, "What Life Means to Me" appears as the final essay in the collection Revolution and Other Essays by Jack London (Macmillan 1910).
""I always knew looking back on the tears would make me laugh, but I never knew looking back on the laughs would make me cry." About myself I was born on 28th of April 1991. I started my education from a nearby primary school called Ladybird. I was living with my parents, three brothers and my sister. At the age of 5 I was in class 1 in Toronto School of Academic Excellence. In 1996 I had an outstanding vacation to Canada for 2 months. We liked it so much that we visited to Canada again in 1998 and 2000. What life means to me? "In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away". "When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile". Unforgettable Moments Some memories are unforgettable. I have two moments to share. One of them is a happy moment whilst the other one is sad. However I will share the sad one first so I can end my autobiography with a happy ending.