Jack London, Darwinism in Jack London, A Zoom On “Law of Life”
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Jack London,the famous american writer insisted on writing political essays in his times. He was among the most influential figures of his days,who understood how to create a public person and use the media to market his self created image of poor -boy -turned -success. One of his most remarkable works named “the call of the wild” (1903), is now accepted as a classic of world literature ,one of the most widely translated and published books by an american writer.
The stduy of Jack London’s work became a mirror of the turbulent Mc Carthy era and the distinct line between “right” and ” left” intensified by the Cold War. This is the due in part to the London studies by Marxist and social critics who succeeded in maintaining a healthy debate around London’s works that was more philosophical in nature and anti-thetical to the London “myth” (intentional or not) created by many journalists and biographers.
At this point, no doubtly ,one must accept that there was an absolut naturalism in his essays. In his story named Law of Life he proves that he is a naturalist writer. The images that he describes,the settings, the content of the story have a perfect organization of naturalism. Naturalism in London’s writings is a completely well developed and successful fact of his creativity.
His mention on the description of the nature, natural events, like birth or death are of his personal literary ability and are evidences for how great his naturalistic skill of his writing is.
As London often did with other writers he read, he took their theories and incorporated into the world of his novels and short stories. Such as he has reflected Darwin’s theory in his writing named Law of Life.
Charles Darwin,the great philosopher,was probably the pioneer person who influenced Jack London mostly. In London’s works we can encounter many themes and many philosophies of Darwin.
The presence of Death in human beings’ life is a matter of fact in the primary importance and this bia effected many writers of all times literature ,as it did Jack London.
Jack London,from his youth to death was a pure socialist. In 1897 the socialist labor party of Oakland of which he had became a member, labeled him “Boy Socialist.”
Jack London first became acquinted with ideals of socialism through the works of Karl Marx. For Marx, socialism was merely a stage between the age of capitalism and communism. And Jack London as a loyal follower of Karl Marx and Darwin,tried to apply their ideas, views through his life.
In the Law of Life ,Jack London focuses on “death” which is the primary fundemental law of life. In the story,London underlines this fact very successfully.
The oldman and the goose images are very important elements in the law of life.These two beings of the story add a different meaning to the story in which we can find some meanings about the Darwinian theories.
In Darwinism we see that life is an obligation to be experienced and will ,one day encounter the end named death.
And according to Darwin, one living thing should struggle with the fatal obstacles in order to stay alive.
In the story, the goose struggles against the wolves although it knows that wolves are superýor than ýtself.And this is a law of life.
The goose, although is in knowledge of it is weaker than the wolves ,keeps on its struggle. However the oldman,although he knows how to survive doesnot struggle with death and accepts to be a victim of death.
The oldman perceives that death will catch him one day and thinks that this day is not that far away from him,thus he accepts losing the game versus death by not struggling but accepting to die.
(the theory referring to biologist Charles Darwin’s beliefs that the origin of species is a result of variation due to a genetic mutation from the parents with individuals who are best adapted to survive chosen through the process of natural selection.Survival requires cooperation, which is why socialists of London’s day accepted Darwinian science as a proof of the superiority of their politics.)
The Oldman ,unlike the goose , does not fight for his freedom and doeas not struggle to survive since he knows that death is very close to him. By the way, the goose is infact in the same situation.Because both are in hopeless situation and both do not have any chance to survive.But the goose strrugles to survive although it is hopeless. And this is the difference between an animal and a human being.One behaves according to his logic ,the other behaves according to it’s instincts.
Here now,we can say that death does not differ any living thing according to its status of living. Plant, animal, human whatever the victim is ,will one day meet death.
Althogh Darwinism is not an understanding combined of only these means,the theory has many similarities with the story of Jack London named “Law of Life”.
Because there exists some Darwinistic bias in the story like that theme of the struggle of the goose and the old man(though the old man does not struggle to survive).
One of the basic ideas of Darwinism is that death will try to reach you one day and you have the probability to delay the coming of the deadline of your life,but this is a valid fact only for logical living things leading human beings that do not behave according to their instincts but reason.
In the story,the fact that animals struggle with life using their instincts unlike as human beings do this using only their logic is being given.In Darwinistic theory we can see that this point is displayed clearly.Thus,it is out of question that some Darwinistic bias exist in this writing of Jack London.Besides these,we know that Jack London is a socialist and a naturalist artist that makes us more lukewarm to believe in Jack London that he supports Darwinism,and darwinistic theories.
To sum up,we can say that Jack London is socialist and also a naturalist writer who prefers to add socialism, naturalism and also darwinism into his works.
His usage of naturalism is so pure that finding darwinism and socialism in his writings is not an interesting thing.Darwinism deals with human beings’ existence and end;Jack London,in his writing named the Law of Life deals with a similar theme in which he focuses on the basic similarity of an animal and a humanand achieves to compare-conrast these two situations successfully.In his essay although one can not easily find the darwinism theme,it is successfully hidden in the writing and can be found out when examined carefully;because it really underlies the story.