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Circle Of Life In Law Of life By Jack London

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The Law of Life by Jack London

Jack London’s story, “The Law of Life” is written to talk about the law of life and the circle of life itself. This story is also written about ageism which is when people stereotype others based on their age (Monsees, n.d.). Just as many writers write about feminism and socialism, London decided to write about ageism in Old Koskoosh’s life.

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From the beginning of the story we are notified that the main character is old of age since he is referred to as Old Koskoosh. Also, the author foreshadows what the story is about by giving the title name referencing life. As one knows, life eventually becomes short for the elderly.

Throughout the story, it is taught that Koskoosh comes from a tribe that takes the elderly away from the tribe camp to let them die on their own. Although the circle of life is focused on a symbolic representation of birth, survival and death (Science, n.d.), Koskoosh has some memories of how the circle of life has personally affected him. For example, he mentions the time when he was small and saw a moose get devoured by wolves in order for the wolves to survive. Throughout Koskoosh’s final moments, his son appears a few times in his struggle to stay alive by bringing him more wood to burn before wolves come and attack him. Eventually, Koskoosh’s time is up and he is left alone to die and finally attacked by the wolves.

London’s message within this story is a wake-up call to how elderly people are stereotyped as weak. By Koskoosh’s tribe leaving him alone to die gives the readers an example of how underappreciated elderly people are. Also, by having Koskoosh’s son constantly bringing wood to his father, making sure he is able to survive, shows how incapable Koskoosh was to fend for himself or survive on his own.

The law of life has to do with death and rebirth. It was important for London to mention the memories of Koskoosh hearing a woman and child in his dying moments. This was important because a woman is able to give life to another being when she gives birth and the example of a child is another symbol of life itself. Seeing as to how it was Koskoosh’s final moments, it was as though he understood that he was leaving the earth but the woman and child he heard were going to be there in the future and continue living. That is what the circle of life is. It is an example of death, life and resurrection. While Koskoosh unfortunately passed away, there was someone else coming into life to complete the cycle of life, the law of life. That was the point of London for writing this story and also pointing out ageism.

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