by Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Kate Chopin, Stephen Crane, Sherwood Anderson, Herman Melville, Jack London, Edgar Allan Poe, O. Henry, Bret Harte. This makes the narrator of the story quite an important figure. The sudden ending of the novel and the nearly academic way of describing the unfolding (but not the resolution) of the main events, only strengthen this claim. What did it do to weaken the labor movement? Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Already a member? Jack London wrote The Iron Heel in 1907 as a diary that records the events in Avis Everhard’s life during a period of revolution in the United States (1912-1917). Considered to be one of the earliest examples of modern dystopian fiction, it is also unusual for … Because of its extensive and continuous focus on the socioeconomic climate of the world, it is sometimes argued that London forgot to add some character depth to his main protagonists and antagonists and left the plot a bit structurally underdeveloped. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Written in the early years of the twentieth century, The Iron Heel takes certain circumstances of the time, anchored in the tension between socialism and capitalism, and posits a two tiered future - a more immediate future of socialist revolution, and a centuries-distant, near-Utopian future in which that revolution … In London’s book, the character Avis writes, “The great driving force of the oligarchs is the belief that they are doing right. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Updates? The Iron Heel, novel by Jack London, published in 1908, describing the fall of the United States to the cruel fascist dictatorship of the Iron Heel, a group of monopoly capitalists. Nicknamed 'The Iron Heel' by the Ernest Everhard, the Oligarchy referred to the large capitalists or the trusts who monopolized the society. Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this The Iron Heel study guide. What are the working class conditions like? By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. How did the Oligarchy try to prevent Ernest’s election to government? Never mind the... What happened to John Cunningham’s Stock in Sierra Mills? They instigate a German attack on Hawaii on Dec. 4, 1912; as … The events that happened in the past are narrated by Avis Everhard (nee Cunningham), who tells the story of her brave husband Ernest Everhard—a socialist by heart and a revolutionary who vowed to finally destroy the tyrannical government. Fearing the popularity of socialism, the plutocrats of the Iron Heel conspire to eliminate democracy and, with their secret police and military, terrorize the citizenry. It is considered to be the mother of all dystopian novels and inspired many monumental political and socioeconomic literary works such as 1984 by George Orwell. How did the Iron Heel impede the general strike? The plot rotates around the clash between socialism and capitalism and the rise and fall of an oligarchic capitalistic government called the "Iron Heel," told through the perspective of Avis Everhard—a revolutionary hero’s wife. The Iron Heel is a 1908 fictional, dystopian, and sociological novel written by Jack London. The text is an analysis of the recently-discovered "Everhard Manuscript," a lost chronicle of the tumultuous years between 1912 and 1932, when the so-called "Iron Heel" was first consolidating its power. Log in here. Besides being a pioneer in the dystopian genre, the novel is also important for being still relevant today and predicting several key historical events that fundamentally changed society as we know it, such as the rise of the fascist government. He lives in a perfectly Utopian socialistic economy, and it is because of him that we learn of the events that took place seven centuries earlier. Were they successful. The foreword is written seven hundred years later by a fictional narrator, Anthony Meredith, who lives under a... (The entire section contains 1323 words.). eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. Black Friday Sale! They instigate a German attack on Hawaii on Dec. 4, 1912; as socialist revolutions topple capitalist governments around the world, the Iron Heel has 52 socialist members of the U.S. Congress imprisoned for treason. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. The manuscript, however, is discovered, edited, and published in the twenty-seventh century by an academic called Anthony Meredith. The Oligarchy. London’s dystopian story … She writes of her husband’s ideals and his untimely death and speaks of a society divided in three classes: With the help of Meredith, we learn that, even though the first two attacks on the government in the US were unsuccessful, the working class eventually formed a “Brotherhood of Man” which finally took over the leadership and socialism was achieved. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Iron-Heel. The novel talks about a lost manuscript from the past (1912–1917), which depicts a bold and revolutionary attempt to overthrow the government, written by Avis. This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Iron Heel by Jack London. During this period, the democratic system ends, capitalism fails, and a fascist oligarchy called The Iron Heel seizes control. You'll get access to all of the Our summaries and analyses are written by experts, and your questions are answered by real teachers. By what method did it divide the labor movement? Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Every answer in this quiz is the name of a novelist. Jack London ambitiously predicted a breakdown of the US republic starting a few years past 1908, but various events have caused his predicted future to diverge from actual history. Nevertheless, The Iron Heel remains London’s most political novel in which he demonstrated his socialistic and Marxist views and even gained some accusations of plagiarism, as some parts of the book (chapter 7) are copied from a 1901 essay by Irish novelist Frank Harris, titled “The Bishop of London and Public Morality.”. How many do you know? London is best known for his man-against-nature novels like The Call of the Wild and White Fang, so The Iron Heel is often considered a departure from his usual output. Elements of London’s vision of fascism, civil war, and governmental oppression proved to be prophetic in the first half of the 20th century. The Iron Heel is a 1908 fictional, dystopian, and sociological novel written by Jack London. Premium Membership is now 50% off! Corrections? The Iron Heel content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts. It was composed of a coalition of bankers, industrialists, and politicians who seized control of the government by manipulating all … The time and setting are interesting elements of The Iron Heel. The Iron Heel, novel by Jack London, published in 1908, describing the fall of the United States to the cruel fascist dictatorship of the Iron Heel, a group of monopoly capitalists. Most crucially, though London placed quite accurately the time when international tensions will reach their peak (1913 in "The Iron Heel", 1914 in actual history), he (like many others at the time) predicted that when this moment came, labor solidarity would prevent a war that would include the US, Germany and other nations. Fearing the popularity of socialism, the plutocrats of the Iron Heel conspire to eliminate democracy and, with their secret police and military, terrorize the citizenry.