Martin Eden Book Summary – Jack London

Martin Eden Book Summary - Jack London
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Martin Eden is a novel written in 1909 by American author Jack London, focusing on the young worker Martin Eden and his struggle to become a writer.

Summary Of The Martin Eden

Martin Eden, a sailor from a lower social class, falls in love with Ruth, whom he meets by chance. However, this love exists in a time when class differences can nearly kill people. Ruth’s life is beyond Martin’s dreams and is almost like the powerlessness of man before God. To win Ruth’s approval and that of her family, Martin embarks on a series of efforts. However, the path he started for Ruth will lead him to a dead end, burning all bridges behind him. Now, on this journey that began for Ruth, Martin is like a ship without a harbor in a storm.

Martin Eden thinks Ruth’s love transcends that of ordinary people; he even astonishingly follows a vision of heaven with cherries on her lips while she eats cherries. His greatest guide is Ruth. He spends his entire life in the library, with Ruth’s recommendations, reading books on etiquette, knowledge, and science. The hope that he can soften Ruth’s heart initially causes her family to disregard this lower-class suitor. Ultimately, Martin cannot rise to Ruth’s level.

Martin attends socialist meetings and begins reading about evolution. Through Spencer’s books, he learns values where the strong crush the weak. He learns the outcomes of evolution, which shatter his timeless values and lead him to understand the consequences of evolution along with opposing views, much like large movements of dogmatism. His knowledge grows so much that conversations with Ruth’s family become meaningless to him. As his educational process advances rapidly, there is a major issue: making a living!

Martin believes he can become a writer to win Ruth and gain her family’s approval. Additionally, he thinks he can earn more than he did as a sailor. Martin sends his articles to magazines, but they are not immediately accepted. Due to Ruth’s uncle’s disapproval of Martin, he begins receiving harsh rejection letters. Outside the system, the uncle now stands in Martin’s way. Ruth develops feelings for Martin, and they get engaged. However, there is pressure on Martin to find a job.

Martin Eden perseveres despite opposition because he believes in himself and loves Ruth. He runs out of money due to the constant lack of funds and his belongings are taken by a pawnbroker. While working in a laundry, he meets Joe. Joe tries to cling to life with all his might, working hard without thinking. But he is no different from Martin. When you close the author’s name, Joe is one of the two important characters you see in Jack London’s books. The reader encounters a surprise at the end of the book. Joe, according to Jack London, represents working for others without thinking.

Another character is the Priest. He has been expelled from the church. He is a writer and poet. He is like Martin’s subconscious. Despite his fears and despair, he commits a tragedy that will make Martin famous. He commits suicide at home.

From this moment on, Martin begins to rise. Martin becomes richer every day. His writings are published. Ruth’s family accepts Martin. One day, Martin argues with Ruth, and they break off their engagement. Ruth says she loves Martin, but Martin approaches her with obsessive thoughts, as he is constantly concerned with money and fame. These obsessive thoughts drag Martin back to his old debate days with friends, but Martin is also a stranger here. Eternity calls him to the sea. For Martin, there is no longer love or a goal. He boards a ship for his final journey.

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