What is the tragedy of Martin Eden?

“On the beach at night alone,

As the old mother sways her to and fro

Singing her husky song “.

(At night by the sea one,

Water, like an old mother, with a husky

Song lulls the earth.)

W. Whitman

When this is the end of a person’s life, they always look for an explanation by misfortune. Some say that it is necessary to pay for its bright and informative life by its brevity: lightning is therefore dazzling that it is wasting its energy really “In the blink of an eye”. Others will say about the destructive role of the woman-dislike in the life of a man and repeat after Turgenev’s Bazarov: “Everything has put on the card of female love, well, he lost.” Still others – about the tragic mutual misunderstanding of talent and the mass of mediocrities.

And they will be right, of course, because all this is in the novel of Jack London, who lived the life of his hero and almost his death.


seems to me that Martin carried the seeds of his tragedy and death in his healthy and strong body from the very beginning, and nothing would have changed without Ruth and her family, without a feverish struggle for the publication of books, and the life of the talent is not necessarily a brief moment – let’s recall Goethe, Tolstoy, Shaw, Hamsun…

Martin from the very beginning of life divided the whole world into two equal halves: I and everything else. In this “everything else” he saw primarily rivals and enemies. Not without reason, his brightest memories are fights without rules for a place under the gloomy sun of a wild forest town. In addition to competitors, I saw Eden in “everything else” and allies, but always became over them, seeking this also by fights – albeit with certain rules. He did not see himself, and physical deprivations and overloads only hardened his mighty body.

Then he – quite by accident, patronizing the weak – gets into another world where they know the words “trig” and “matic”, where he

is shy and uncomfortable, as a novice in a street gang. He feels that physical superiority for some reason does not put him above the ladies and gentlemen. He vaguely feels that he is an exhibit in the zoo, he wants to rise above this society: to make them see him as a higher being. For this it is necessary “to defeat them in their field” and to take away their woman. Perhaps this is how one can understand his feelings for Ruth – “this pale female,” as Brissenden called her.

His Martin, of course, achieved: he read and worked a lot, became an intellectual among intellectuals and won the “love” of a spiritually frail girl from society. The fact that he became a writer is just the rule for people from the bottom: they know too well the life unknown to the “educated” public and too well know not the sloppy jargon of the salons, but the powerful language of their people. And here the struggle of Martin-writer for recognition is not at all more dangerous than that of a person from the higher circles of Brissenden; talent always meets with opposition and must break through it… By the way, writing for Martin Eden is an instrument, the key to the doors of university salons.

In the controversy in the living rooms Eden laughs when he is called a socialist. No, he is not only not a socialist, he is a more enemy of socialism than those who reproach him. They are thinking about social protection, charity and so on. Martin is an individualist, a supporter of bringing the Darwinian idea of ​​the struggle of the individual with other individuals for existence, for a place under the sun, for the right of the strong to triumph over the weak – ultimately, for the loneliness of the superman in the world.

In terms of personality, by its size, Superman Martin will not trample on the lives defeated in the battle, he will even patronize some of them, those who are closer – to the sister, for example, or the landlady “Maria the big fool” and her children, the working girl Lizzy… He even seems to be sympathetic to them. Perhaps, sweetly thinking that here he was almost like that, but rebelled from insignificance and proved “urbi et orbi”.

Well, rose and proved, embodied the Great American Dream, broke the Great Wall between China and the upper classes, the conquered Morse tribe itself dutifully led to the hotel Ruth – this, indeed, “pale female”, to which he – himself! – looked up from the bottom, and she seemed almost inaccessible to him. Here she is in front of him, subdued, ready for anything – but he does not need that. He stood over – and then he realized what he had done to himself.

He squandered himself in a struggle that brought no happiness to anyone or at least joy, as he was not given any fame, money and the opportunity to mock the publishers… He, who was not broken by the city, the sea, or the laundry…

He by and large turned out to be of no use to anyone, and if a person is not needed by anyone, he, as it turned out, is not needed for himself.

And broken by the consciousness that he lost, that he had to live otherwise, that he can not live otherwise, he will not be able to himself and others will not, that he is too healthy to die young, like the ingenious consumptive Brissenden, March Eden buys a travel ticket from which do not return.

From the sea he came to a vulgar Morozov world, he will leave the world in the sea.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

What is the tragedy of Martin Eden?