• Year Published: 1909.
  • Pages: 480.

Martin Eden Summary of Chapters

Chapters 1-10

In these chapters of Martin Eden, we see a young man who decides to take off his cap. He was in a very big hall in which he was very out of place. There many objects within the room such as a: grand piano, a table, oil paintings and so on. He saw the oil painting which captured his eye. He found himself staring at it. On the table, there was a letter in which he and his friend read. There were also thousands of books in the room. As he was browsing through the books, a young lady entered the room. He did not notice her at first. Soon enough, he spotted her. It took him a while before he realized that he already knew her. They soon found themselves in deep conversation.

The group then moved into the dining room. The man found the process of getting into this particular room rather difficult. But he eventually got there. All of the guests sat at the table. The young man was very quiet during the early stages of the meal. But he soon got talking later. After the evening was over, he went outside to have a cigarette. He said good night to those who were there and continued on his way. The young man then caught a car to Telegraph Avenue. This Avenue was full of young people and in particular young men. The young man heard that they were singing all kinds of songs. He took the time to watch them closely.’

Martin soon found himself return to the back hall which was very dark. He went into his room and found himself dreaming about a young woman. He imagined her name to be Ruth and how she had soft, white hands with a beautiful face. When he woke up from his ‘dream’ he soon went off to sleep.
The following day, he woke up to a child who was crying. He had some time with his dear sister whom he loved dearly. After breakfast, he had to get himself outside. He took a while to decide which out of two libraries to go to. The woman Ruth who he dreamed about lived in one of the suburbs of one of the libraries so he decided to go there.

We then see Eden incredibly hungry. He was not hungry for food, but rather for the sight of a woman he longed for. But he was unable to pluck up the courage to contact her himself. During one evening, Martin decided to go to the theater. Of course, he was hoping he would see Ruth. On the stage, in the orchestra, he could see several women. But he was not sure they would be of Ruth’s liking. He did not like what he saw.

Eden had a full week of very heavy reading. He had eventually met Ruth but had not seen her since. He was truly in a world of his own for hours. He decided to visit the library to look up the meanings of several weird words that he had discovered. He learned a lot from these discoveries. Staff members at the library have seen Martin there often and knew exactly who he was. He decided to ask a staff member about what he was considering about Ruth. The staff member was very helpful.

It was then time for Martin to go to San Francisco. He wanted to write a story to his friends which he did. Once it was finished, he posted his manuscript to The Youth’s Companion. He found the courage to call Ruth. They met up and had a great time together.Eden and Ruth had dinner together at her parents home.

Chapters 11-20

In these chapters, we see that Martin write’s poems. He wrote many love poems to Ruth who found them inspiring. Eden was soon finding himself with less money so he had to go to the editor of his manuscript to see how that was going. Martin kept on at it regardless of the lack of responses.

The rejection slips for Martin’s writing work continued to come through. Ruth begged to hear some of his stories. So he began to read her one. Sadly, all she could do was point out all of the little mistakes in his story.
The next day, Martin did something different to normal. He decided to move away from his stories and readings. He went to San Francisco and went to an employment company. He told them that he was looking for any kind of work.
He soon found himself in a new job in which he learned a wide range of things. He found it exhausting.
Eden found himself wanting to write again. However, he chose not to write them down. He was having a break.

Chapters 21-30

The next day, Martin had a day of reading. He soon found himself dreaming. He and Ruth soon found themselves together and in love with each other. They kissed passionately yet they said no word to each other.
As the weeks went on, Martin found himself with no money. He still had no luck with any publishers for his book. This lead Martin to drinking and getting drunk often. He continued to receive rejection slips.

A nearby friend, Maria was also poor. She knew what Martin’s situation was like so they soon found themselves drinking together. One day, he went into his writing room where he found an unopened envelope. He soon discovered some fantastic news. It was a letter of acceptance of his manuscript Transcontinental. Inside of it, he found a check for one hundred dollars. What great joy.

A couple of days later, another check arrived. This time it was three dollars from a weekly scandal in New York. His writings were then published in Chicago’s newsletter. Whilst it was a small amount, he gave him a glimmer of hope.
As time went on, Martin soon found himself becoming successful. He continued to slowly earn some more money. This encouraged him to keep on writing.

Chapters 31-40

On Broadway, Martin came across Gertrude. Gertrude is his sister. He came across her very unexpectedly. They decided to have some time together. He begged her for some money and insisted he would pay her back. She was hesitant and said no. Another visitor arrived to see Martin. This visitor would be required to listen to some of Martin’s writings. She admired him for it. Martin found himself starting to lose his battle. He managed to borrow ten cents from their friend Maria. Martin was unable to pay Maria back. This naturally left her disappointed. And angry. But soon enough he made amends with her.
Martin noticed that Brissenden was absent for quite a long time. But Martin did not want to be nosy about this.
Martin and Brissenden decided to go to the local. He wanted to get Martin out to socialize. They soon found themselves in the local small hall. There, they heard a speaker who was a smart Jew. He soon captured Martin’s attention. He didn’t quite understand the whole talk but he learned some interesting things.

The next day, Martin found himself reading the local paper. He found himself angry because Brissenden thought something in there was amusing. But not so to Martin. Martin’s sister soon suggested that he move away and find employment elsewhere. But Martin did not want to do this.

His ‘overdue’ story remained on his table. He soon forgot about this. He and Ruth ran into each other on the street. She had her brother with her at the time. Martin allowed them to continue on while he walked into North Oakland. Back in his room at home, he went back on with his writing. He wrote on and on and on.

Chapters 41-46

One night he slept so well that he did not wake until he heard the postman come past. He woke up feeling very tired. He quickly went through his mail and saw one thin envelope. This was from a company called Robber Magazine. In it, he found twenty-two dollars. He found another check waiting for him from New York Weekly. This was ten dollars. Because Martin had many debts to pay off, he could not purchase any more stamps for his writings. He needed to pay these debts back first.

Martin met Mr. Morse at the Hotel Metropole. He was not disappointed. He could handle Mr. Morse. Soon enough Martin found himself invited to a large number of dinners. He did not accept them all, but some of them he did. He met a wide range of people through these dinners.

Many letters from publishers and editors were part of the daily mail for Martin. Many of the checks he did not expect to get. One day, Martin spent his money on some fishing gear and clothing. Martin always did all he could to find something else other than writing to interest him. But he could not find anything that would spark his interest.

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