Tarzan Still Has That Swing

One of the best known novels of the Great War Era didn’t make the bestseller lists.

Tarzan of the Apes, first published as a magazine serial in 1912 and then released as a book in 1914,  catapulted author Edgar Rice Burroughs to fame. Tarzan became a icon.

Lord and Lady Greystoke are first marooned, then slaughtered in Africa. Their infant son, John, is adopted by a female ape and raised as her offspring, Tarzan, which means “white skin.”

Tarzan grows to be leader of the apes, but longs for human companionship.

He rejects much of what he sees of people. However, when a scientific expedition lands, Tarzan finds civilization does have something desirable, namely Jane Porter, daughter of the expedition’s leader.

When the expedition heads back to Baltimore, Tarzan trades his loincloth for a suit and takes off in pursuit of Jane. Tarzan learns his true identity and behaves as befits an English gentleman.

The story is totally preposterous, full of implausible situations, inaccurate information, and blatant stereotypes. Except for Tarzan, men are stupid, self-serving, and often savage.

This is pure pulp fiction, yet it’s easy to see why the book thrilled generations of youngsters: Tarzan is simply great fun.

Tarzan of the Apes
By Edgar Rice Burroughs
1914
Project Gutenberg ebook #78
©2007 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda Aragoni

I'm passionate about helping people learn through the medium of nonfiction writing. Although I occasionally have an idea of my own, I mostly build education tools by recycling and repurposing other folks' ideas.

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