Set in the lush backdrop of Hawaii, we find ourselves at the end of a story rather than the beginning.
The mournful song of Aloha Oe swells as we pan the transport, its decks, and the gangway and wharf looking for whom this song is meant. It turns out not to be for the many natives described or sailors gathered, but for the junket of US Senators, wives and daughters now departing the island for home. It is impressed upon us that it is for them alone that this elaborate farewell is created. Most importantly to the story, it is for the daughter of one Senator, Jeremy Sambrooke.
Jeremy himself is not impressed with this display of ardor. He is impatient, fat and sunburned. Sweating under the dozens of flower wreaths that have been bestowed upon him and the other Senators, he finds them disgusting. He busies himself with thoughts of acquiring material resources and power .He is building his empire in his mind. He does not even see his daughter, who is metamorphosing right in front of him. He sees no beauty, only labor and resources. He disregards the young man saying good bye to his daughter. Dorothy, a tender young girl of fifteen, is saying goodbye to the young man and to the place where she has found adventure and a break away from her usual life as a schoolgirl for the first time.
In her departing moments, she reflects on her time spent on this trip, not with her father, but with a young man. Stephen Knight, a youth of twenty, is provided to her as entertainment while her father is wined an...
... middle of paper ...
...is real, or part of the entertainment.
There are hints throughout about material issues with the Senator. The trip being defined as a junket is the first. A junket by its definition is a trip taken at someone else’s expense, especially a politician. He is being wined and dined, and his daughter entertained so that he may plan how to use the resources and labor force of the island whose natives he considers beneath him and whose cultural beauty he does not appreciate.
There is no need to look for the racial bias, it is plainly told.
I believe that the author expresses his appreciation for the beauty of the island and the natives and is wishing for you to feel the injustice of it all right along with Dorothy.
Jack London. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 07:27, Apr 15, 2014, from http://www.biography.com/people/jack-london-9385499.
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