The Iron Heel

Posted: October 17th, 2013

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The Iron Heel

            By so far, the author of the book The Iron Heel named J. London (birth name as John Chaney) is widely regarded as America’s finest author. He was born in the region of Francisco in 1876. He gained little formal schooling even though he was an ardent reader. Through this, his passion for education made him visit libraries. He had extensive life experiences as a laborer, oyster pirate and others. At the time of his cross country voyage, Jack became familiar with socialism. Throughout this time, he had already started writing without necessarily publishing his materials; despite the little formal schooling he had gained. He wrote the first work in 1893 and embarked on his career as a successful writer of short stories, essays, novels as well as news items. Once he resolved himself to be successful as an author, Jack’s diligent habits and native skills propelled him far past most of his literary colleagues both in content and perspective. It is known of him following a stern writing routine of a thousand words in a day and through this Jack was able to a come up with a huge amount of high quality materials in a duration spanning eighteen years. By the time, Jack had emerged as the best selling, most popular and highest paid American author of the time. Jack was such a prolific author and had published fifty one books as well as a handful of articles.

This made him so popular in his time including the quality of his work that was immense; especially compared to other works during the particular time span. In addition, Jack had authored letters in thousands of which even catapulted him by far in terms of writing. Most additional materials have been published following his death. Some of his most prominent works include The Iron Heel, White Fang, Martin Eden and others. Other writings consist of The Call of the Wind –initially entitled as The Sleeping Wolf, The Sea wolf initially named Mercy of the Sea and The People of the Abyss which is a sociological exposition on slums of England. In particular, the author is widely recognized for his work To Build a Fire which is a short story considered as an all time classic. Additionally, his works have been converted in numerous dozen languages and till date are widely read all over the planet. Jack, the American literary mastermind, brilliantly and thoughtfully portrayed his life and era. His never ending portrayal of struggles of nature and man (stories of adventure) has continually thrilled millions of keen readers. Social readers as well as other authors have continually been aroused by his deepest prose. All the same, most of his life experiences emerge even more exhilarating than his fiction.

The book The Iron Heel clearly reflects Jack’s socialist views- just like most of his works. He was among the first groups that set out for the Klondike at the time of the Gold Rush. Basically, the book is a story within stories and this makes it even more fascinating. It concerns about a past, current as well as a future all told a man’s perspective. It revolves around the society of the time and of the foreseeable future. It is as well-argued and relevant as well prophetic. In fact, upon reading it, a person is enlightened with society related information and left with a question regarding this period of unprecedented income equality, political puppetry, corporate propaganda fronts and conservative libertarian the nation has not taken a path taken by London many years ago. The issues Jack underlines in the book have continually plagued the society till date and according to him, it is as if no change seem to have taken place. The book also tries to make the society reason why with all the vast poverty, weakening middle class, legislators thrall to dominant industrial and corporate interests and wealth stratification afar levels prior the Great Depression has not sunk into the current oligarchy as presented.

It may be that unforeseen occurrences such as depressions and war have immersed and dissipated the energy as well as labor organizing power or possibly, that politics (and other propaganda) have become more sophisticated in its capability to disguise its real agenda in foolish prejudices whereas serving the interests of a few in a society; those with power and wealth. The historical context in the book recognizes mitigating factors –such as technological development- and strives to portray increased stratification till a spread system emerges and the society tumbles into revolution. This clearly illustrates the work both as historical and social critique regarded as the artifact concerning an ignorant, brutal and decadent civilization. The inequalities that exist in the society for the entire period and no change have been affected; civilization has only resulted to benefit a few within the society. The book portrays love within political and social struggle context; that kind of love to tolerate it. The gold-age was predominant during this period. Captains in industry and other trusts accumulated massive power and wealth to emerge as the ruling class all of which makes the nation fall into a class society under their dictatorship. At that time, a handful of trusts had augmented their holdings to integrate all the national economy sectors under their powers. This was not a foreseen wrap up as it has been the case in the present society. Corruption and other malpractices have followed since then, and as a result, the national wealth has been accumulated by few individuals leading to countrywide ruin.

The book portrays inequality in the society throughout the history. Concentration of power and wealth has been to financiers and industrialists. This is a reality a century since then and particularly the manner in which wealth stratifies in the nation each time laissez-fair policies abide. At the start of the great depression in 1928, the wealthiest in the society had one percent but ended up making twenty one percent of the sum national income. Such stratification mirrors what is happening today; only those with power and wealth in the society are continually increasing their fortunes while the nation’s poverty line population has increased in millions. The inequality in the society is reaching alarming levels those below the poverty line have significantly increased in numbers. In a conclusion, the work epitomizes a society for quite duration and its various causes of wealth stratification. Most significantly, it discloses the crucial cause of such trends- psychological and self sustaining.

The inequalities in the society have contributed to revolutions since the society has been divided into classes. Few individuals in the society have continually soldiered on by oppressing many with the use of their power and wealth. The poor are continually being subjected to oppression through various means such as corruption despite them toiling hard to make ends meet. As a result, the larger part of the society has suffered from tyranny’s oppression. Their efforts have for a long time gone down the drain and at one time the poor will realize and unite of which shall lead to revolt. Inevitably, the continued oppression between the societal classes contributes most people (including the middle class) falling below the poverty line thus augmenting those against the few with power and wealth. The battle in the society shall eventually spill over as the large numbers of poor people struggle to get back their due from industrial captains who amassed their wealth through malpractice.

Most people in the society have worked extremely hard to elevate their lives, but those with power deprive them of their sweat. The division of the society into classes is a conflict in waiting since most people are living through handwork that is later ruined by several individuals in their own interests. The masses will cooperate together in order to oust the repression they have been subjected to for a long duration. Currently, the world is going through with financial difficulties but at the same time few people are benefiting from the situation. These are power grabbing persons who continually bankrupt their nations through corruption and other dubious acts. In addition, unrest in various parts of the globe is a common thing day-due to classes in the society. Finally, the novel is inspirational, and it is believe that any current reader of it is hard pressed not to possess such thoughts.


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