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Shvoong Home>Books>The Law of Life Review

The Law of Life

Book Review   by:KamaongBato     Original Author: Jack London
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Jack London’s The Law of Life depicts the indifference of nature to the approaching death of an old man. Abandoned in the snow by his tribe, nearly blind and lame, old Koskoosh lies beside a fire with only a handful of twigs to keep him from freezing. He is aware of his imminent end, but calmly accepts the fact that all men must die. In the few remaining hours of his life, he reflects on the never ending cycle of life and death, on how even the most vigorous animal would fall prey to old age and its predators. In all this, he concludes that nature did not care whether a man lived or died: the perpetuation of the species was all that mattered. Koskoosh recalls how the Great Famine ravaged his tribe, against which they were all helpless. Here, London brings into focus an indifferent nature, heedless of the wailings of the villagers until nearly all of them starved to death. Koskoosh also remembers how the times of plenty awakened the blood lust in his people until they revived ancient quarrels and waged war on their enemies. In this case, the brute within man, another frequent theme of the naturalistic work, is awakened and unleashed.
Leaving a sick member of the family to die alone in a harsh environment may seem cruel to the more civilized peoples of the world, but to the native tribe of Koskoosh, inured by times of great famine and constant struggle with wind and snow, such custom is not only imperative, but an act of kindness: a man who has outlived his usefulness does not have to endure the humiliation of being a burden to his kin, who are themselves struggling to survive. In his final moments, the old man remembers a moose that fought off wolves until it was overpowered and fell on the bloody snow. That recollection is a foreshadowing of his own death: wolves are closing in on him as his small fire is almost extinguished. But unlike the moose which fights to the very end, Koskoosh calmly awaits the inevitable.
Published: January 09, 2008   
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  1. Answer   Question  :    how has koskoosh expected to die View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    what are the allusions in the story View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    Why did the great famine occur? Can we say this is a punishment? Explain your answer View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    Why is koskoosh not angry with his son or with the rest of the tribe for abandoning him ? What view of Death does this attitude express? ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    yes. Saturday, March 22, 2014
  1. Answer   Question  :    When does the Missing Plugin ad die in the snow, because that was all I could read. View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    what is the attitude of the tribe about death View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    what killed koskoosh ( 2 Answers ) View All
  1. Answer  :    wolves Wednesday, September 04, 2013
  1. Answer  :    coldness Monday, February 11, 2013
  1. Answer   Question  :    How is symbolism used in this short story? i need an indepth description View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    What are the symbols in the short story? View All
  1. Answer   Question  :    what is the mood of the story? View All
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