“The Sea Wife”- The People of the Abyss

    Of all of the stories in Jack London’s The People of the Abyss, I found the story “The Sea Wife” the most captivating. In “The Sea Wife,” London does not focus on the poverty of Mr. and Mrs. Mugridge. Instead, London describes her and her husband with what they have done in their lives. With just speaking to Mr. and Mrs. Mugridge, London finds people influenced, but not lost due to the problems from new industry. London writes, “I found that vast, incomprehensible patience which has enabled the home population to endure under the burden of it all.” He has found a man and woman able to have and raise children in difficult times without losing themselves or each other in the process. Though they live on a “mean street,” they “expected nothing else, desired nothing else.” Here in the slums of London lived a couple, producing children who venture throughout the world. Throughout London’s encounters, it is here where he finds simplicity and acceptance in life. Toiling for their entire lives in heavy work, the couple does not complain. They have done their duty to “colonize the ends of the earth” and work diligently. Unlike other characters in London’s Abyss, Mrs. and Mr. Mugridge have accepted their lives without self-pity, making them the most enticing and set apart characters in the Abyss.


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