Law of Life

There is a sense of deep meaning in “The Law of Life”. London very carefully lays out his story with the introduction of Koskoosh as he is beginning his journey to death. In Koskoosh’s tribe, death is known as an inevitable event that everyone must experience. However, as the reader we are transfixed and carried through this journey of acceptance with him. When we are introduced to Koskoosh he is saying goodbye to his grandson who is leaving him with his provision of wood and a fire. The first reaction that Koskoosh has as his grandson leaves him there is hope that his grandson will actually return and decide to change his mind and take him with the rest of the tribe. At this point, Koskoosh has not yet fully accepted that he is going to die, even though he holds this idea with high regards. As he begins to sit there for a longer period of time, he begins to accept his fate and that his grandson is in fact not returning to get him. Then he begins to become angry as he realizes there is not much wood and his fire will not last very long. After his anger subsides, he starts to think back on the events that relate to his current situation and finally begins to accept the fact that he is going to die in this very spot. As we journey with him through this acceptance, we are given the opportunity to view his life as he grew up in the tribe and was responsible for doing this very same thing to his grandfather. As he remembers this event, he realizes that he rushed and hurried his way out of it, much like his own grandson had done to him. The memories and experiences that Koskoosh shares with us, help us as the reader to accept his fate while he is doing the same thing. By sharing in the events of life and death with him, we are able to fully expect the final event which ends his life. Instead of waiting for death’s cold hand to take him on his own accord, he is taken by a pack of wolves that could smell him there. This event has a magnitude of symbolism, as one of the stories he shares with us involves a pack of wolves taking down a moose that was not so easily killed. Koskoosh seems to resemble this same moose as he is not ready to go down, however he has little choice in his current predicament. This story was extremely vivid and moving, as we share in the experience with Koskoosh his final moments.

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