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Comparison Of Jack London´S The Story Of An Eyewitness And Jon Lee Anderson´S Leaving Desire

1159 words - 5 pages

Compare and Contrast

MS10215 Hyunjoo Cho
Harvard (University), #1 (Number), Red

There are some similarities and differences between 「The Story of an Eyewitness」 written by Jack London and 「Leaving Desire」 by Jon Lee Anderson. These elements lead to the same topic, the sorrow floating with extreme damage of natural disaster causing to the residents. However, the main method approaching to the topic is entirely opposite. Jack London wrote the story with the sight of the whole city, and describes about the overall situation. On the other hand, Jon Lee Anderson emphasizes on how the natural disaster ruined an individual’s life. The four elements I will compare and contrast are the type of disaster, setting, atmosphere and the style of writing. But before, let me shortly introduce the summary of two essays.

「The Story of an Eyewitness」is a report of Jack London about the catastrophe that had stroke San Francisco. The two disasters damaged the city which was conflagration and earthquake. Conflagration was promoted by the earthquake which struck for only 30 seconds. While Jack London was writing the report, the fire continued and the city was described to be destroyed by repeating the word, ‘wiped out’. Fortunately, at the end of the conflagration, people were able to prevent the fire and finally rebuilt the city. To summarize the doomed city in one sentence, the city was a wall of flame.

「Leaving Desire」written by the author, Jon Lee Anderson is a story with a main character which is Lionel Petrie. Petrie shows the desire a man could feel by insisting on not leaving San Francisco saying that his family will come back to his place to find him. Unluckily, San Francisco was awfully damaged by the Hurricane Katrina. It incurred sewage, corpse, feces, and more chemically dangerous substance to be exhausted to the water people should drink. As a result, even though the city was full of water, the problem of them was that they had no water to drink. The description of an individual, pierce the heart by Petrie’s strong love toward his family.

To begin with, the first similarity that can be found between the two stories are the enormous disasters of U.S. Both the stories are eyewitnesses of the destructive disaster that had happened at United States. Also the disasters did not happen alone but another catastrophe had ensued. The difference is the type of the calamity. 「The Story of an Eyewitness」is based on the San Francisco earthquake that happened at 1906. The earthquake caused the devastating fires which resulted about 3000 people to die and over 80% of the San Francisco damaged. In contrast, 「Leaving Desire」is a story grounded on the deadliest hurricane, Hurricane Katrina. At least 1,833 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods.

On top of that, the settings also have the similarity and difference. The correspondence and distinction might be obvious. Both stories do not reveal the end of the disaster clearly and they both occurred at...

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