Jack London in his work always tries to find the answer to the eternal question: what is the meaning of life? It seems to me that for him it is a struggle. In his story “Love of life,” the main character fights for his life with nature and beasts. And in the end he wins.
Jack London has a lot of stories about the American north, about the grave and full dangers of life there. The protagonist of one such story, “Love of Life,” went with his friend in search of gold. On the way back, they ran out of food and cartridges. They could no longer obtain food and were very hungry. Every day they lost more and more strength.
And then one day the main character, crossing the stream, twisted his leg. He began to lag behind the comrade, but the latter did not help,
But then he overpowered his fear, gathered his spirit and, overcoming the pain, followed the footsteps of his comrade. He knew the way. She led to a hiding place in which fishing tackles, cartridges and some food were hidden. It was to save his life. He forced himself to think that he would reach the hiding place and that Bill (so his companion’s name) would wait for him there. “He had to think so, otherwise it would not make any sense to fight on – it only remained to lie down on the ground and die.”
For several days he walked along the right road. But the strength remained less and less. He constantly thought about food. He met deer, but he could not kill them – there were no cartridges. Once he almost caught a partridge with his bare hands, but she broke away; leaving only in his hand three feathers. With each new failure, he was more and more discouraged, but then he found the strength to continue the journey. He ate everything he could get: marsh berries, bulb bulbs. Anyone who at least somehow could help him survive. Several times he managed to catch the little minnows.
He was very weak. He no longer thought about where to go: “He no longer thought about the Land of Little Sticks, about Bill, or about the cache at the river of Diz.” He was possessed by only one desire: he was hungry, he did not care, where to go, just to go on a level ground. ” But the most important thing that kept going. Once he just fell from hunger into a partridge’s nest. The four chicks were eaten alive, but they only provoked his hunger. Then he chased after their mother, whom the stone cut off the wing. He did not catch a partridge, but got off the road completely. He was very hard. “At times his mind was racked, and he continued to wander farther unconsciously, like an automaton.” Once he met a bear. The fear that the beast would hurt him gave him strength. He stood up with a knife in his hands, looked the bear straight in the eye and snarled at him.
Despite all the suffering, he continued to fight for his life. Only “he no longer fought, as people struggle, it was life itself in him that did not want to perish and drove it forward.”
The most terrible pages of the story describe the rivalry of the protagonist and wolf for life. They fought to the last. The man was already weakened enough that he could not get up and moved on all fours. The wolf was also very weak: he was old, sick, and was kicked out of the pack. He crawled behind a man, not having the strength to attack. He just waited for him to die and be able to eat it. But the man also clung to his life: “Be it a healthy wolf, a man would not resist so much, but he was uncomfortable thinking that he would fall into the womb of this nasty creature, almost fell.”
In the end, the man pretended to be dead and was able to grab the beast crawling towards him. “Half a day he lay motionless, struggling with forgetting and the watchman of the wolf who wanted to eat it and which he would eat himself if he could.” The man waited. “The fangs squeezed his hand, then the pressure became stronger – the wolf struggled to stuck his teeth in the last effort but the man waited a long time, and his skilful hand squeezed the wolf’s jaw. For another five minutes, and the man crushed the wolf with his whole weight