Jack London: The Law of Life
Culture is the expression of our nature on how we live, interact, believe, where we gain our knowledge, and it also distinguishes people from another in divergent societies. The culture of Native Americans is so history rich and storied cultured that it cannot be easily misinterpreted by anyone that is foreign of their way of life. In “The Law of Life,” Jack London describes the culture of the Native Americans and their proclivity towards life as it revolves around Naturalism and The Survival of the Fittest. We can describe “The Law of Life" as the circle of life. The circle of life begins when a man is born and ends with his or her death. “Koskoosh thinks of the leaves turning in autumn from green to brown, of young girls that grow more and more attractive until they find a man, raise children and slowly grow ugly by age and labor (London, 389).” The cycle of life and death is always indisputable in life. Death is a natural cycle as is birth; the distinction is how death occurs and affects a living creature. In the “Law of Life,” by Jack London, the law becomes acceptable to the tribe due to the nature of their survival in the harsh conditions in the artic regions. For example, deep and heavy snow may make it harder for hunters to bring back food for the tribe, or animals may go into hibernation to keep their young safe when they are vulnerable. Whenever necessities are scarce, the tribe migrates from one area to another for food, shelter, medicine, livable weather conditions, move to habitats that are more hospitable, and the elderly and disability people are left alone so that they will not be a hindrance on the migration and the survival of the tribe. The availability of food and water can change throughout the year. When I first read Jack London’s short story “The Law of Life” for my assigned literature reading for English class, I was deeply impressed by Jack London’s writing style. Jack London’s sense of observation made his stories deeply realistic as if they were happening right before us as if we were in the characters shoes; therefore, the entire story gave us a mouth full of food for thought of what could possibly develop next. Jack London’s short story was based around how Naturalism affects everyone in their lives. Naturalism plays a magnificent part on the tribes that are faced to whatever situations in life that their heredity, social conditions, and environment prepare them to encounter. “Naturalism in literature is explained as an attempt to be true to nature by not writing unrealistic stories about what life is like (Weegy).” Naturalistic writers try to show that man’s existence, is determined by things over which he has no control over and about which he can exercise little by if he has any choice. Man can only do nothing to prevent nature from taking a certain course; however, man does have the ability, to create protection from inclement weather, by way of: shelter, clothing, and supplies. Man is equal with all life and nature. We all eat, sleep, live, and eventually die. Many of Jack London’s stories talk about the constant struggle of surviving and staying alive. As discussed in class, nature doesn’t care who you are or where you come from; it is something that is continual and non-stopping. Man and the environment are both together in the struggle to compete for life. The aim is survival. Darwin’s Theory of the big fish that eats up the small fish, explains The Survival of the Fittest. Man and environment are both confronted between infinite, irrational Mother Nature and irrational human beings. The arctic region weather is harsh and endless. In the horrid, cold weather, the man act like the wild animal; however, the wild animals live a less troublesome life of what the tribe members have to encounter. For example, the animals survive exceptionally by their natural instincts by avoiding any type of danger. Man usually is fated to death when they cannot support the...
Cited: Main Theme of "The Law of Life". Weegy. 19 March 2013. http://www.weegy.com/home.aspx?ConversationId=70DA70B3.
"Overview: 'The Law of Life '." Short Stories for Students. Ed. Sara Constantakis. Vol. 35. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Literature Resource Center. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.
London, Jack. "The Law of Life." The Bedford Anthology of American Literature Vol 2. 'Ed ' 2008. Susan Belasco and Linck Johnson. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's, 2008. Pp. 388-394.
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