Jack London is first and foremost a storyteller, and a great one at that. His stories have become fodder for a canon of American literary greatness and he is considered one of the country’s best writers. However, his works go beyond mere tales of adventure and life in the icy tundra, although for some that might be his stock and trade. London’s writings are rife with themes relating to his political views. The class struggle between employer and worker are evident in the human-to-dog interactions in The Call of the Wild. His exploration of class difference shows a depth of writing ability. Being able to tell the stories he does and still embed an important socio-political theme shows a mastery of writing not often seen, even among the most adept writers.
Jack London’s life and writing were instrumental in forming the language of the American rugged male writer. He did not invent the concept, but he wrote the part with a language simple enough for all to understand. In many ways, Jack London’s stories, steeped in themes of nature vs. nurture and struggle for and against one’s own nature, paved the path for other greats to trod, including Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, and even Hunter S. Thompson.