In describing the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, Jack London criticized humans’ attempts to quell nature by devising new technologies and machines. In order to do so, he compared the city to a living being, one which was slowly killed during the onslaught of the earthquake and ensuing fires. Furthermore, London almost completely eliminated the discussion about humans, meaning his point of view took on an omniscient perspective. Firstly, London created a relationship between nature, although unlike Twain described nature’s effect on the city rather than the people living in it. “This lurid tower [was] visible a hundred miles away,” as an example, showed London’s interpretation of the city as a creature who was suffocated by the smoke. Again in paragraph four, he says “[the city] was dead calm”, meaning all of its infrastructure and technologies had succumb to nature’s power. For a last time in paragraph five, he personifies creations of humans, in this case the flames brought about by the burning materials used to build the city. To some extent, this emphasized his point that attempts to go against nature would bring about self-destruction to...
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...idea of the dissolution of the social hierarchy. Despite describing the people in complete chaos, Twain referenced the city with geometrical and direct terms. This provides an instance where he discusses the relationship between the city, humans, and nature, similar to how London does in his essay. Conversely though, Twain reasoned that the city—although in more physical pain—was more intact than the humans living in it because of the mental stresses they were going through and the rash decisions that ensued.
Necessarily, Twain utilized first person in his piece because his goal was to criticize the vulnerability of humans during times of chaos. He also heavily implemented paradox in order to further emphasize the brash decisions chaos can ensue. Conversely, London conveyed his criticism of humans by describing the self-inflicted damage the earthquake brought about.
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