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Critical theory: Naturalism in American Literature - Essay Example

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Subject: July 18 2011 Naturalism in American Literature Introduction and Thesis A critical analysis of the Naturalism in American culture is being discussed through the story ‘The law of life’ by ‘Jack London’…
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Critical theory: Naturalism in American Literature
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Download file to see previous pages The story begins with the protagonist of the story an old American Indian man who has been left far behind his tribes and how he views life. The story ends with ‘how do all the things in the world matter after all? Everything acts according to the law of life.’ Three important passages from the story are as follows: “But one task did nature set the individual. Did he not perform it, he died. Did he perform it, it was all the same, and he died. Nature did not care; there were plenty who were obedient, and………….” (Strowbridge 345). “The picture, like all of youth’s impressions, was still strong with him, and his dim eyes watched the end played out as vividly as in that far – off time” (Strowbridge 351). “Again he saw the last stand of the old Bull Moose, and Koskoosh dropped his head wearily upon his knees. What did it matter after all? Was it not the law of life?” (Strowbridge 353). This story is of an old American Indian named Koskoosh who was the ex chief of his tribe. In the ‘law of life’ the protagonist Koskoosh creates a blissful reflection of the to be anticipated forces that exist in controlling the life of human beings. Marxist literary criticism is a based on the socialist criticism and this criticism is used to explain the literary works more adequately. Marxists criticism is not just fully related to the working class people related novels but it aims to explain the literature works adequately. ...
The Marxist criticism views both the form as well as the content of the novel as dialectically related. The American literature of the 19th century was characterized by a certain style of writing which is called naturalism. The theory of naturalism stresses the animality of man and highlights their attitude towards the nature and Jack London’s ‘the law of life’ is one such novel which brings about the naturalism in American culture. “In the story of The Law of Life, London depicts not only man's necessary combat with the environment, but also the absence of meaning for the individual. Throughout the struggle, the individual has only one purpose, one obligation or law to obey: to reproduce to sustain the species: "Nature did not care. To life she set one task, gave one law. To perpetuate was the task of life, its law was death"” (Ancil 19). The old man was left alone by his tribes when he was blind and lame and the old man was left to face death in snow. Koskoosh was left alone to death by his family members as his son left without him leaving him at the mercy of pile of sticks which is to feed the fire beside him. Here the family members have no social respect or a sense of botheration for leaving an old man who is blind in a lone area at the mercy of the nature. Here Koskoosh is reminded of a situation where a sick old moose was killed by wolves and was left at the mercy of the nature. Koskoosh identifies himself with the old moose and says that it is the law of life that persons in the old age are left behind by the young counterparts at the mercy of the nature and this has become as atypical law especially in America. The author has very clearly ended the story with the theme line ‘this is the law ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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