After gaining literary fame, Jack London published an autobiographical essay in which he describes the struggles he faced growing up with no means and lofty ambitions, entitled 'What Life Means to Me', written in 1905. '…I was down in the cellar of society, down in the subterranean depths of misery about which it is neither nice nor proper to speak.
I was in the pit, the abyss, the human cesspool, the shambles and the charnel-house of our civilization.
This is the part of the edifice of society that society chooses to ignore. The merchant sold shoes, the politician sold his manhood, and the representative of the people, with exceptions, of course, sold his trust; while nearly all sold their honor.
Lack of space compels me here to ignore it, and I shall say only that the things I there saw gave me a terrible scare. I saw the naked simplicities of the complicated civilization in which I lived. Women, too, whether on the street or in the holy bond of wedlock, were prone to sell their flesh.
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Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.Second, make your writing clear and focused, and only include those details essential to your story.For example, if you're writing about your marriage, do not go onto a tangent about your childhood pet.Third, keep in mind that, even though you are writing about true events, the essay should still read like a story.Start with a catchy lead-in, develop your characters and plot and finish with an ending that leaves readers thinking.Readers will only care about the writer's life if he or she is emotionally invested.When writing an autobiographical essay, either for a class or for potential publication, there are three basic criteria to keep in mind.First, because an essay is shorter than a novel, focus on one aspect of your life, such as a job, your family or the loss of a loved one, and dig into it.Use the essay to embrace mistakes and show readers what you have learned.Unlike a biography, which is a true account of someone else's life, an autobiography is a focused account of a writer's life told from the writer's own point of view. Autobiographies are typically written in the first person, and use the pronoun, 'I', which makes it easier for the writer to reflect upon and provide some perspective on life events.Although autobiographical essays can be an abbreviated summary of an entire life, they usually focus on a certain accomplishment or experience.