Naturalism was a unique and bold movement in literature. Naturalism really focuses on nature obviously, and humans. Naturalists portrayed humans as helpless and “beasts”. There are three characteristics of Naturalism discussed in “The Law of Life”; how the environment determines behavior, how humanity is hard to understand, and how human destiny is beyond the control of the individual.The short story, “The Law of Life” by Jack London is filled with naturalism The first characteristic is how the environment determines behavior. When the winter came, all the tribes were dying and going crazy because it was just so bad. “And through the long darkness the children wailed and died, and the women, and the old men; and not one in ten of the tribe lived to meet the sun when it came back in the spring.” They had no choice but to just suffer and die.
Next, the second characteristic is how humanity is hard to understand. The story talks about the Great Famine. Things weren’t going so well for the tribe. It was a long, harsh winter, and it was bitter cold. The tribe didn’t understand why all these bad things were happening to them. But, it’s hard to understand humanity. They waited and waited for the caribou, rabbits and all the other animals, and none of them came. “Then the winter came, but with it there were no caribou. Never had the like been known, not even in the lives of the old men. But the caribou did not come, and it was the seventh year, and the rabbits had not replenished, and the dogs were naught but bundles of bones.”
Finally, the third characteristic is how human destiny is beyond the control of the individual. The human destiny that can’t be controlled in the story is death. “His head would fall forward upon his knees, and he would rest. It was easy. All men must die.” The story talks about how Kokoosh knows that he is going to die, and that it doesn’t bother him. Everyone dies and its just