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A Pilgrimage to Truth and Beauty


A Pilgrimage to Truth and Beauty
Abstract:Martin Eden is Jack London’s semi-autobiographical novel, which gives a very vivid and detailed portrait of the hero, from an impoverished and uneducated sailor to a successful writer, who was inspired by the upper class girl Ruth and eventually got acclamation. The thesis analyzes the protagonist's history of struggles and comprehension of true love,and argues that Martin’s life is a pilgrimage to truth and beauty. Key Words:class struggle true love Introduction This thesis argues that Martin Eden’s life is a pilgrimage to truth and beauty through analyzing his struggle history, his comprehension of true love and his conflicting psychology after success. In addition to Introduction and Conclusion, this thesis consists of three parts. The first part discusses Martin’s pursuit of truth and beauty from his struggle motivation and struggle course. The second part focuses on Martin’s comprehension of true love . Discussion Generally speaking, The purpose of his struggle is to pursue true love, which is the more important reason for Martin’s struggle. Martin loved Ruth at first sight. In his view, she knew so much that he couldn’t match her, even some knowledge he knew nothing at all. In his inner heart, he wanted to know what she had known, and expected to attract her attention. He fell in love with her, so he decided to fight for pursuing the true and pure love. He forgot himself and stared at her with hungry eyes. Here was something to live for, to win to, to fight for and die for. Martin eagerly wanted to grasp her; however, he knew that the gap between them was really large. He was ever not fit to carry water for her. He realized that only he changed his status, could he match her. Therefore, he must do something, which made him determined to strive for success. At first sight, Martin Eden fell in love with Ruth, whom he considered was beautiful and unusually refined. By comparison, he thought Ruth was the one he wanted. He loved Ruth madly, for her beautiful look, for her decent manner, and for her erudite talking. Love was the greatest thing in the world, for which Martin could do anything. As time went by, Martin read a large number of books, for instance, mathematics, physics, chemistry, literature works and philosophy of Nietzsche. His spiritual life improved greatly. Through a long time of hard working, he could compare with her in some way.With this in mind, Martin felt closer to Ruth. He also held that there was no bar to their love, except for class differences, which he thought could be shaken off. Conclusion In conclusion,The pursuit of true love and beauty gave him lots of courage and encouragement. Throughout his life, he sets the ideal of pursuing truth and beauty as his goal. By describing Martin Eden’s love, struggle and death, the novel deeply exposed the money worship, vulgar hypocrisy of the American society at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It also revealed the destruction of the culture and the talents by the bourgeoisie and the corrupt practice of the American publishing industry. References: Neihardt, G. John. Collected Poems of John G. Neihardt. New York: Macmillan, 1926. Walker, Dale. No Mentor but Myself: Jack London on Writing and Writers. California: Stanford UP, 1999.


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