Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Alcohol and Literature Essay
Throughout Americas history we buzz off-key disciplinen musical compositionpower foxing for the sake of drinking, solely because it is a function that men argon accustomed to do. In every town t here(predicate) are saloons, taverns, and every other sort of gathering place for men to adopt soak their very souls in alcohol. This ideology is not uniquely Ameri force out, nor is it an just masculine tradition, but it has go so intertwined with the idea of a wild-eyed working-class American vision that only the deaf, dumb, and blind could not see it reflected in the keen American novel.And the great American novel that I will discuss John barleycorn. ace of Jack capital of the United Kingdoms late industrial plant, actually written three years before his remainder by suicide (he would convey died from alcohol poisoning within the year). The curb is practically an autobiography, although capital of the United Kingdom never admitted it, and it details his brio throughout his ages and phases and turn outs how slowly wizard who is not suffering from a predisposition to alcohol can become so dep hold onant upon it. Jack London did not become an alcoholic until the sustain leg of his life and he would often range soIt is the accessibility of alcohol that has advancen me my taste for alcohol. I did not care for it I used to laugh at it, yet here I am at the last possessed with the drinkers desire. It took twenty years to implant that desire and for ten years more than that desire has grown. (33)Jack London was not born into a sozzled family and he did not lead a pampered life, maybe this is what made him a great writer, or maybe it was all the amazing things he saying in his time prospecting in the Yukon, pirating oysters around the Pacific coast, or search for seals in the Bering Sea (Teacher xi). All these things sound great and wondrous presently but at the turn of the century these were chores left to the working class, not to aspiring n ovelists. London was in love with a romanticized idea of America, he loved the idea of adventure and it is reflected in almost every one of his books and so is his game of chess against alcohol.Londons earliest works such as Call of the Wild and Sea wildcat well show the ii conflicting personalities within London. In Sea Wolf a one-year-old man ,with a striking resemblance to a jr. London, is washed out to sea and rescued by a waterproofing boat on its way to the hunting grounds. The captain is a massive educated man named Wolf Larsen and he refuses to return the young lad (to whom he refers as get by) to land and offers him a phone line on board as a sailor. The conflict betwixt the two main characters of the story seems to represent a conflict within London himself, one present in most of his novels. The young educated man is dupely a representation of a younger and more lofty London, what he envisioned for himself when he was a young man (and he did not drink).An example of the similarities between London and his characters can be seen in a line from Sea Wolf regarding the young man named Hump he kept a summer cottageand read Nietzsche and Schonpenhauer to eternal sleep his brain (Teacher 837). We know London was a very avid philosopher and Nietzsche was one of his favorites which is evident in John barleycorn, the book was influenced by Nietzsche even if he never named him directly a pessimistic German Philosopher (London 11). The older self-educated man known as Wolf Larsen in Sea Wolf represents what London envisioned himself becoming later in life a hard man who finally sureized life is given to those who loss it the most, regardless of how worthless or trivial it may be.The conflict between these two characters is the basis of the story, they become uneasy fri deaths in their nightly discussions of life and all that encompasses it and every night Wolf Larsen is victorious in their arguments. He is not a man who values life or love, cash or recognition he values his life and his life alone. This lack of morality goes against everything the younger hump has been taught yet in the end he comes to see it as true, although he retains some of his more solid values. This is the ineluctable pessimism that we see in all of Jack Londons later stories, the death of his younger idealistic side, drowned in alcohol, and the ascension of his realist side. As London progressed in his writing the conflict lessened and the White Logic took over almost completely (London 192).The White Logic is the primary suffering of whatever true dipsomaniac it is the loss of faith in mankind and oneself, it takes pessimism and turns it into realism, it is the immutable knowledge that we shall all come to pass (London 193). Although Jack London coined the full term White Logic, the ailment has always been present, at least in American novelists reality. It is a weighty sense of sadness that makes one determine that life is a lie and that th ere is no real break up but to grow old and die. Its a sad thing to know and it must be far worse to keep up this ceaselessly on ones mind, which is exactly what happened to Jack London and many other American writers. Ernest Hemingway sank deep into his own form of the White logic in his last years with us as can be seen in crossways the River and Into the Trees, his last two novels which the author could never finish because of the diseased speak they contained.A depressing majority of American writers take on had their careers in literary productions cut short by their affairs with John Barleycorn Ernest Hemingway zest himself because he could not take the constant whispers of death John Barleycorn would made in his ear, maybe if Truman Capote could have put graduate his glass maybe he would have finished Answered Prayers, Hart stretch might have written poetry into middle age if alcohol did not exist (Waldron 2). Upton Sinclair wrote about Sinclair Lewiss drinking in The instill of Fury Through a miracle of physical stamina Lewis made it to 66, more tragic than any shortage of years was the loss of productivity and the absence seizure of joy. (Waldron 2). Why is it that these great people, whom many of us admire and revere in the highest sense, have had their lives mired in an alcoholic binge? Is it a reckless career move to drink when one is a writer? Does it give a better understanding of fiction and life in ecumenic?The answer to the above questions is obvious, no, alcohol is a lie and all that is learned through it is also a lie, although it may make the truth clear at times by loosening the tongue, this may seem kindred contradiction but what in life isnt? Despite this act of common knowledge an overwhelming number of people drink and cut through to drink as well as encourage others to drink with them. Its practically impossible to escape the lures of fermented grain its a cave in of human history (Crowley 35).In truth we are all pr edispositioned to drink because we are human, this gives us a proclivity to soak our inspirit with spirits and our minds with margaritas. Hundreds of years before America was discovered writers were altering their minds with whatever was at their disposal Poe was a poppy popper (opium), Shakespeare may have been a stoner (Hashish), Nietzsche was inebriated off of his ego, and Plato and Socrates were just drunks. All these people, who helped shape the intellectual progress of man, were by todays standards drug addicts and alcoholics. They lived and died by their choice of poison (Socrates did so literarily) and it greatly influenced their writings, which brings another question to mind.If alcohol is responsible for the deaths of many great writers and their careers then it must be considered a faux pas and banished from the civilized cosmos right? True the universe of discourse might be better off without alcohol but then again could anyone say that the great literary works would have been made better by taking the morbid realities out of them. Would War and Peace have been better if it had a keen ending (maybe if they had prozac back then)? Would A Farewell to Arms have been more meaningful if Hemingway wasnt soused while writing it?Everyone would have probably loved Romeo and Juliet if the lovers in question did not die, and John Barleycorn would have never been written in a perfect world without alcohol. It seems that in literature our faults and weaknesses are great, they help depict a real person and allow readers to relate directly to the characters or ideas in the story, without impression there is nothing to compare happiness too. What makes literature interesting is the positively maladjusted people who write it, if they were to be normal upstanding citizens they would have nothing to write about. To say that alcohol is directly responsible for the end of Jack Londons writing career is just as folly as saying Robert Frost could have benefited from alcoholism, yet it is incontestable that it had something to do with the loss of his life and maybe even the spawn of his career.One cannot determine the validity of statements through statistics, it does not matter how many writers were alcoholics or how many more were not. They were people just the similar and they were prone to the same temptations as the rest of us. Many choose to drink and revel in John Barleycorns false but alluring acquaintance and many more choose not to do so, in the end it matters not because such is life. Although it matters to us it does not matter on the cat valium scheme, life is really a little game we play and its depressing to think about how inconsequential we are. Knowing this why would anyone urgency to make life and death a constant thought in their minds like the great authors of old? Why were their manically depressed words so inspiring? Simply because to find beauty in all that is nude is beautiful, and it is in those moments of clarit y that we all shine.