London has lost nothing in power. He has gained in sweetness. There is something brutally strong in Martin Eden. Then there is a gentler background. Someone says Martin is London's self. Maybe in part. Maybe wholly. Martin Eden is concretely explicit and yet potently symbolistic. Here was a man who undertook to civilize himself and only half succeeded. And here also a woman who undertook to uncivilize herself, only half succeeded. How the spirit grew in Martin, and how the flesh grew in Ruth, will bear looked at frankly from both sides.