Jack London's "The Law of Life"

Essay by aznXsa2587 October 2006

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Throughout Jack London's life he worked in many different areas and gained many different experiences that most other authors only heard about. He was an active participant in the socialist party. He had his own brand of socialism by combining the thoughts of survival of the fittest with the inevitable triumph of the working class. These ideals were evident in some of his stories. His idea of survival of the fittest came out in "The Law of Life."

The story starts off with the narrator talking about and old man named Koskoosh, who I think is an old noble of an Indian tribe if not the chief. He is an old man none the less. The seasons are changing so the tribe is migrating and he is too old to make the trip and not hold his family back. So his family is going to leave him behind basically to die.

The old man is alright with this because he knows how nature works and knows that he has to accept the fact that he will die. He starts thinking of old stories of his past and that he was told while he sits by the fire and waits for his time to die.

I think that from the very beginning you can see elements of London's political ideologies brought out in his story. I think that the main theme is survival of the fittest. When his son says "is it well with you?" he is asking his father if it is right to just leave him there. The father says "it is well" which obviously means that he (his son) is doing the right thing by leaving him.

While the old man was sitting by the fire, he started thinking about old stories. The narrator tells a story...