1. What does "survival of the fittest" mean, and where does the phrase come from?
This phrase refers to competing in life, or predominance. It was first coined by Herbert Spencer in his book “The Principles of Biology”, and was later used by Charles Darwin.
2. What is socialism? Why was London attracted to it?
It’s another word for public ownership. London was attracted to it because he had lived a life of poverty and was interested in the idea of total power.
3. What is social Darwinism? What were its origins and how did London interpret this philosophy?
It’s a social version of “survival of the fittest”, social climbers competing to reach the top and creating social evolution. It was of course created by Darwin and he used his theories of the evolution of animals and applied it to human society. London used this theory and mixed it with racialism.
1. What is the setting of the story?
The setting of the story was in England, in the Yukon Territory.
2. What is the central conflict of the story? What is the source of the struggle?
The main character, Tom Vincent, has to build a fire after trying to travel back to camp in cold weather. He has a stubborn and disrespectful attitude towards others and doesn’t head the warning of a old man or any other person he comes across during his journey
3. What happens to Tom Vincent at the end of the story? What does he learn?
Because of his disrespectful attitude towards other, his dog refuses to help him and in the end he dies from the cold temperature.
1. What happens to the central character at the end of the second version?
He tries to run to build up heat in his body, but has no stamina. He sits on the snow and feels sorry for not listening to the old man who warned him to not travel alone, then ends falling asleep into death in the snow.
2. Which one of these endings do you think more clearly meets the conventions of naturalism? Be sure to consider the concept of determinism as