5.05 Jack London

Topics: Charles Darwin, Character, Evolution Pages: 2 (336 words) Published: November 15, 2012
What does "survival of the fittest" mean, and where does the phrase come from? Survival of the fittest means that the individuals that have the best traits and characterizes with most likely survive. It originates in “The Principles of Biology” by Herbert Spencer.

What is socialism? Why was London attracted to it?
Socialism is a type of government that is in between the time of capitalism and communism. London used it because it has to do with the problem of social welfare and individualism.

What is social Darwinism? What were its origins and how did London interpret this philosophy? Social Darwinism is a theory by Charles Darwin that came from Spencer’s idea of the “Survival of the Fittest.” London interpreted this philosophy by writing about superiority of white men in his novels.

What is the setting of the story?
The story takes place in the Klondike and moves from the Calumet Camp to the Cherry Creek Divide.

What is the central conflict of the story? What is the source of the struggle? The main conflict is that it is too cold to function properly. The source of struggle is that Tom did not follow the precepts.

What happens to Tom Vincent at the end of the story? What does he learn? After all of the struggle, Tom makes it to the Cherry Creek Divide. He learns that it is wise to follow the precepts of the North.

What happens to the central character at the end of the second version? The main character ends up losing the fight against the cold because his fire dies and freezes to death.

Which one of these endings do you think more clearly meets the conventions of naturalism? Be sure to consider the concept of determinism as you list your reasons. In my opinion, the ending with the man’s death is more naturalistic. It focuses more on nature and how it has overtaken the unnamed name. It seems that nature decided his fate with the dousing of his fire.
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