Naturalism in Jack London’s “The Law Of Life” Seen Through; Man Against Nature – Surviving The Elements
To demonstrate how little control a person has over his or her own life, Jack London uses the naturalism genre in “The Law of Life.” Delacroix asserts that “clearly, it matters very little whether or not man has a mind.” Even though it may appear that this is about nature having no limits, it is really about naturalism in the sense that humans are at the mercy of nature and the impersonal force of fate. In “The Law of Life,” a short story by Jack London, he uses naturalism in this way. While on a survival mission, a nomadic native tribe abandons one of their elders, Koskoosh, to die.. He describes himself as “an old leaf, clinging lightly to a stem,” a description he attributes to himself as an elder of the tribe. He’s blind, but he’s got a great sense of hearing. Because of this, both the tribe and Koskoosh recognize that his time has come and he will pass away. Their law of life refers to this innate awareness of mortality.
Naturalism is exemplified by the tribe’s law of existence. Life’s fundamental law dictates that every human being must die. No matter how hard they try, they will die one day. Inevitably, there will be a certain amount of stress. The elders of the tribe who came before him are referred to by Koskoosh as “episodes,” as if they had vanished like clouds in a summer sky. Even he was a blip in time, doomed to perish ” (749). After realizing that his death will have little effect on the environment, Koskoosh finally takes action. To him, it’s clear that Nature isn’t interested in an individual but rather a race or species. Each one of us has a duty to fulfill, and Koskoosh is fully aware of this. They had to die as soon as they finished their mission, because that was the only option. Koskoosh, for example, discusses the roles that each gender plays in their tribe, with a particular emphasis on women’s roles. An attractive young woman in their tribe has no responsibilities other than finding a husband. In time, men begin to approach her and eventually ask her to marry them, as she becomes more attractive. To be a mother and caretaker of the tribe’s home is her sole duty when this happens. When this happens, her task is done. How did Koskoosh end up in the snow with a pile of wood like him? Because “Nature was not kindly to the flesh,” the tribe sees this as normal. On the other hand, nature gave each individual a specific task to complete. Otherwise, he would have lost his life. In the end, it didn’t matter what happened to him ” (749). By nature, humans are entrusted with the responsibility of preserving and multiplying life. Nobody can escape death, no matter how hard they try (London’s 2011, for example). It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’ve come from; death is inescapable. Using the moose and wolf pack as an example, Koskoosh elaborates on this theme. ” A wolf is killed by the moose in the first two positions. However, the wolves’ third stance crushes the moose to the ground. It doesn’t matter how hard the moose tries, it can’t stop what’s coming. It is inevitable that the moose will succumb to natural law and be preyed upon by the pack of wolves. In the same way, because of the same attitude, Koskoosh has come to terms with his lot in life. His survival instincts dictate that he use his burning branch to frighten the wolf away. The fact that he is on the verge of death doesn’t deter him from fighting for his life. It’s finally dawned on him that there is no hope for him, so he gives up on life. It is time for him to give up his weapon of choice. Koskoosh knows that no matter how hard he tries, death will still take him. Nature does not pre-select individuals for survival or long-term health. Let it happen rather than fight it, according to Koskoosh and his tribe, because everyone dies. In the face of an unstoppable force, they opt for a life of acceptance and cooperation rather than opposition. In contrast to today’s society’s view of death, this concept and practice are incomprehensible. When a loved one dies, people today are devastated, and their families will do everything they can to keep their loved one alive as long as possible. It is common for families to spend thousands of dollars on Chemotherapy to treat a loved one who has been diagnosed with cancer. They don’t give up on life as easily as Koskoosh and his people. For many people, the value of human life appears to be more important than observing natural laws and customs.
The most brutal manifestation of London’s naturalistic vision is the law of life of a nomadic native tribe. He and his people have come to terms with the fact that he is doomed to die. They’ve shown that they accept death as a fact of life by abandoning him. They leave Koskoosh in the wilderness and let Mother Nature take care of the rest of the situation. To keep the group alive, they know that they can’t stop or prevent death, so they keep going anyway. Because Koskoosh has accepted his own death, the rest of his tribe is able to thrive. Every member of the tribe is aware that death is inevitable and accepts it. A final method of surviving for the tribe is naturalism interpretation. As they see it, the natural world and fat are both impersonal forces that can’t be controlled.
Principle No. 1 of Life. A person’s culture reveals his or her true nature through the way he or she lives, interacts, believes, and learns. Indigenous culture is so rich in myth and history that it is impossible for non-Native Americans to misinterpret it. When Jack London describes Native American culture and their outlook on life, regarding Darwin’s theory of evolution, he emphasizes naturalism as an important determinant for survival. It’s called “The Law of Life” because it’s a constant cycle. Birth and death are the beginning and the end of a person’s life. Young girls, like Autumn leaves turning brown, become more appealing until they meet a man and have children, at which point they become unattractive due to their age and manual labor, says Koskoosh (London, 389). It is impossible to avoid the inevitable progression of life and death. The manner in which death occurs and affects a living organism is what distinguishes it from birth. As a result of the harsh conditions in which they live, the tribe in Jack London’s “Law of Life” accepts the law. Hunters may have difficulty returning with food for the tribe because of heavy snowfall, or animals may hibernate to protect their young during the winter months.
Naturalism is a literary term that refers to a writer’s attempt to be true to nature by avoiding the fabrication of stories about what life is like (London 250). Naturalism is an attempt to show that there are many factors that determine the existence of a human being, and that he has little or no control over them. Nature has no control over man, but he has the ability to build shelter, clothing, and supplies to keep himself safe from the elements. Life and nature are on an equal footing when it comes to man’s abilities. Everything we do, from eating to sleeping to living to dying, is a cycle. Numerous stories of Jack London, the struggle for survival is never-ending. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’ve come from; nature is a constant and never-ending cycle.
When it comes to survival, man and nature go head-to-head. The main objective is to stay alive. Darwin’s Big Fish Theory In order for a species to survive, it must eat the smaller fish. Forces that are irrational and inexhaustible confront both man and the natural world. Weather in the Arctic region is both harsh and never-ending because of Mother Nature and the region itself. Wild animals, on the other hand, live better lives than members of the tribe in the frigid weather. Animals, for example, have a natural instinct to avoid any kind of danger, so they fare extremely well. In tribal societies, men who can no longer provide for their families are usually put to death. After death, man became a part of nature, becoming a part of the eternal and never-ending process of nature itself. An elderly man by the name of Koskoosh has a strong hold on naturalism. His ability to keep up with the tribe deteriorates over time. If Koskoosh is too ill to travel with the rest of the tribe due to the changing seasons, his family will be put at risk. People who are sick, elderly, or otherwise incapable of caring for themselves must be moved on so that the healthy, younger, and more vibrant human beings can take their place.
It doesn’t matter if Koskoosh fights it or not, death will eventually come. Even though he seemed content with death, he is now trying to fight for his time on earth, recognizing that he is on the brink of dying. Now that he has realized how far he has gone, Koskooh realizes he is completely out of his depth. Isn’t it all in the past now? That was the general rule, wasn’t it? How can I justify clinging to life? the breathtaking sights in London (394). As he waits for his last breath, he drops the stick into the snow and collapses on one of his knees, exhausted. As a general rule, regardless of one’s religion or ethnicity, death is inevitable. A river cannot be halted, and life cannot be rewritten. Nature, on the other hand, is unforgiving, powerful, and lacking in empathy. Using his own experiences, Koskoosh tries to figure out why he’s willing to give up his life for the greater good. He contends that we would all pass away and that humans will invariably strive to live, no matter the odds.
“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.
ADDIN Mendeley Bibliography CSL_BIBLIOGRAPHY London’s, J. (2011). Naturalism in “The Law Of Life.” In The Cambridge History of the American Novel (pp. 499–514). https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521899079.034