Learn more about apartheid in this article. Martin is a sailor from a working class background, who feels uncomfortable but inspired when he first meets the bourgeois Morse family. Spurred on by his love for Ruth Morse, he embarks on a program of self-education, with the aim of becoming a famous writer and winning Ruth's hand in marriage. Martin Eden by Jack London is about the title character, Martin, and his struggles to become a successful author.
Despite this, Lizzie remains devoted to Eden. He feels an attachment to her because she loves him for who he is, and not for the fame or money (unlike Ruth). Apartheid (an Afrikaans word meaning apart-ness) was a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government of South Africa between 1948 and 1994.