Biography of Famous Fictional Characters Tarzan of the Apes Part 1

About the biography of famous fictional character Tarzan of the Apes, history of King of the Jungle and his lady Jane.

TARZAN OF THE APES (b. 1888- )

Tarzan of the Apes, also called Tarzan the Terrible and Son of God, was born in a cottage made of packing crates and mud on the shores of Africa on November 22, 1888. His real name was John Clayton, and he was the son of Lord Greystoke and his delicate wife Alice who, not long before his birth, were marooned on those wild shores by savage mutineers. Had it not been for this disaster, the young lord might have been born in an English castle.

His mother, shocked into vague madness by an encounter with a 350-lb. ape (which she bravely shot and killed), died a year after his birth. Clayton, heartbroken, then wrote in his diary, "My little son is crying for nourishment--Alice, Alice, what shall I do?" Though Clayton was not to know it, help for the baby did come, and from unexpected quarters. It wasn't long after that that Kerchak, king of the apes, and his troop went on a rampage, entered the cabin (Clayton had carelessly left the door open), and killed the grief-stricken husband and father. Had it not been for Kala, mate of Tublat, who was mourning the loss of a baby, little John Clayton might have been killed too. However, Kala grabbed him to her bosom and adopted him as her own.

Thus began the strange, fantastic story of Tarzan, boy of the jungle, who grew up as an ape child. For the next 19 years, he led an almost idyllic life, swinging through the trees (but not on vines, as Hollywood would have it), playing tricks on his foster father, and growing up to be an athletic miracle. At the age of 10, he was as strong as a man of 30. At 19, he had, according to his biographer, Edgar Rice Burroughs, "the grace of a Greek god" and "the thews of a bull."

However healthy the life, it had done little for his intellectual development. That he did for himself. Visiting the cabin where he was born, he found books in which were what he called "little bugs." With his natural mental endowments, it wasn't long before he was able to decipher those little bugs and read English, using a children's illustrated alphabet and a dictionary. It was inevitable, however, that the child of the jungle, self-taught, would have holes in his education.

Tarzan was somewhat lonely, for as he grew he surpassed the apes in intellectual achievement. He made friends with Tantor the elephant (later with Sheeta, the leopard), but this did not end his yearning to be with his own kind: the men he had seen in his father's books.

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