What does Jack London mean by "The Love of Life"?

Essay by cow123Junior High, 8th grade January 2003

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Many people today could easily say that they loved and appreciated life, that living in this world was a privilege that they would do anything to maintain. Through a story called "The Love of Life", Jack London demonstrates what the true definition of loving life is like. He does not illustrate the "love of life" as something simple and pleasurable, but as something that is excruciating. London uses the phrase "love of life" with the definition of the will to survive, and the appreciation and love for life. "The Love of Life" is a brief, yet remarkable story concerning two men who sought out to the frigid, arctic Yukon in search of some gold. They had accomplished their task and earned each of themselves fifteen pounds of gold. The two companions were heading for "the land of little sticks" for supplies when one of the men finds himself with a sprained ankle.

He calls for his partner, Bill, to help him but finds no assistance. "'Hey, Bill! Bill! I've sprained my ankle.' But Bill continued to stagger on through the foaming water." Instead, Bill kept on walking, and eventually abandoned him. Alone and devoid of supplies, the man's "love of life" will now be put to test by nature.

It is the wish of every living thing in the world to stay alive, as is the man's. He, however, was willing to risk more than what others would in order to fulfill their wishes. This man wanted to live under any circumstances, he wanted to stay alive, and he fought for it. "He did not stop. Madly, desperately, disregarding the pain, he hurried up the slope toward the top of the hill over which Bill had disappeared." His will to survive had confined his brain from his knowledge...