Don't Throw Me to the Wolves

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Don’t leave me to the wolves! Well that is exactly what happened to blind old Eskimo Indian Chief Koskoosh in Jack London’s, “The Law of Life”. Koskoosh was a member of a Native American Indian tribe in the Klondike, a part of the Arctic region in frigid northwest Canada. Because of the harsh environment, scarcity of food, and the importance of the group's survival, the tribe choose to abandon frail Koskoosh to ensure their survival. His son, the new tribe chief, would lead the expedition as they abandoned of his aged father. The tribe must sacrifice Koskoosh to save the rest, they had to abandon him to harm; or leave him to the wolves. (The Free Dictionary) This story of death opens as the tribe is packing to move. As Koskoosh’s son came to say goodbye, Koskoosh expressed his acceptance of his death. Koskoosh, “did not complain. It was the way of life, and it was just. He had been born close to the earth, close to the earth had he lived and the law therefor was not new to him. It was the law of the flesh. Nature was not kindly to the flesh. She had more concern for the concrete thing called the individual.” (London 391) Koskoosh knew that he was about to die, and while he was anxious, he accepted the coming of death. Yet, as his son left Koskoosh next to a burning fire with only a few sticks of wood, his son knew that as the fire flickered for the last time, so would his father draw his last breathe. Koskoosh awaited death as he sat by the fire. As he sat he reflected on times of death. Koskoosh recalled, “How he had abandoned his own father on the upper reach of the Klondike.” (London 392) Koskoosh continued to manifest on death as he went on to think about the death of mosquitos, squirrels, old rabbits and how other vermin would circum to the wolves (London 392). Koskoosh even envisioned death as he recalled a scene from his youth of an old moose that had been thrown to the wolves. As a child, Koskoosh and his friend wanted to watch the...