Within the “The Story of an Eyewitness” by Jack London he uses vivid language to describe the San Francisco Earthquake. As he tells the report about the earthquake, he uses descriptive words to explain the damages to the city. For example the smoke was able to be seen from hundred miles away. London also describes how all of the people within the city were dealing with the tragedy, I quote, “not one person who was in slightest degree panic stricken”. He also gives an estimate of how much everything cost that was destroyed from the great tragedy. We’ll begin with the description of the earthquake damage and the fires that started afterwards.
This report all Started when Collier telegraphed Mr. Jack London to tell him about the earthquake, because he is the only one within forty miles of San Francisco. Mr. London goes into great detail of everything that has been destroyed, from the business section to residential area. The buildings that were still standing had watchman at every door making sure that the fires would not burn the building down. There was no water to fight off the fires, so they were using dynamite to defend the building. Now we move onto how all of the people where reacting to the damages.
At the beginning of Jack London report he gives us an idea of how much damage there really was by telling us how much all of it cost. He tells how much some of the items that were destroyed from the earthquake cost which I quote “hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of walls and chimneys.” To all of the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of property damage from the fires that arose after the earthquake. With giving us information about the damages he says that there is nothing left of San Francisco but memories and fringe of dwelling-houses. Everything in San Francisco is destroyed within approximately three to four days.
In the city many people were leaving the destroyed and burning city. The people as they were leaving were dragging or carrying trunks with their personal belongings inside of them. The ones that stayed behind were trying to protect the last remaining buildings that had not been destroyed with dynamite. The ones that were not try to protect the last structures were sitting around, I quote, “not one woman who wept, not one man who was excited, not one person who was in the slightest degree panic stricken.” Inside the cities around San Francisco were packed with homeless people that had nowhere to go.
The refugees had the opportunity to go where ever they wanted by railroad for free and, I quote, “over one hundred thousand people have left the peninsula on which San Francisco stood.” With all of those people leaving, many of the bankers and business men stayed behind to make preparation to rebuild San Francisco. Now let’s overview the storyline of “The Story of an Eyewitness”.
In “The story of an Eyewitness” Jack London provides an excellent report about the earthquakes and fires within San Francisco. He goes into detail about what had happen from the buildings being destroyed, to the fires after the buildings had collapsed. To include the smoke cloud that could be seen from a hundred miles away. He tells us the readers about how the people were feeling after the destruction and what most of them did from leaving the city to starting to rebuild.