Complete analysis of the Law of life by Jack London. For this essay assignment, select one of these stories:
A- “The Law of Life” by Jack London – https://americanliterature.com/author/jack-london/short-story/the-law-of-life
Old Koskoosh listened greedily. Though his sight had long since faded, his hearing was still acute, and the slightest sound penetrated to the glimmering intelligence which yet abode behind the withered forehead, but which no longer gazed forth upon the things of the world. Ah! that was Sit-cum-to-ha, shrilly anathematizing the dogs as she cuffed and beat them into the harnesses. Sit-cum-to-ha was his daughter’s daughter, but she was too busy to waste a thought upon her broken grandfather, sitting alone there in the snow, forlorn and helpless. Camp must be broken.
The long trail waited while the short day refused to linger. Life called her, and the duties of life, not death. And he was very close to death now.
The thought made the old man panicky for the moment, and he stretched forth a palsied hand which wandered tremblingly over the small heap of dry wood beside him. Reassured that it was indeed there, his hand returned to the shelter of his mangy furs, and he again fell to listening. The sulky crackling of half-frozen hides told him that the chief’s moose-skin lodge had been struck, and even then was being rammed and jammed into a portable compass.
The chief was his son, stalwart and strong, head man of the tribesmen, and a mighty hunter. As the women toiled with the camp luggage, his voice rose, chiding them for their slowness. Old Koskoosh strained his ears. It was the last time he would hear that voice.
B- “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan – https://owlcation.com/humanities/Two-Kinds-Amy-Tan-Short-Story-Summary-Themes-Analysis
At nine years old the narrator, Jing-mei, was told by her mother that she could be a prodigy. Her mother believed that America offered endless opportunities. She arrived in the country in 1949, after losing her family, including twin baby girls, and her possessions in China.
The mother decides Jing-mei can be the Chinese Shirley Temple. They watch her movies carefully. Jing-mei is taken to get her hair done like Shirley’s, but the beauty school trainee botches it. The instructor fixes it by giving Jing-mei a boy’s haircut with slanted bangs.
Jing-mei is excited at the prospect of being a prodigy and becoming perfect.
Jing-mei’s mother has a large collection of popular periodicals, collected from the homes of her cleaning clients. Every evening, her mother tests to see if Jing-mei has the same talent as one of the remarkable children featured.
They check if she knows all the state capitals, can multiply numbers in her head, can do card tricks, can balance on her head, can predict temperatures in major cities, can memorize pages of the Bible, and various other things.
Jing-mei falls short in every area. Her mother is disappointed, and Jing-mei starts hating the tests and expectations. She becomes uncooperative during the nightly tests, just going through the motions. The sessions become shorter until her mother gives up.
A few months pass. One day, they see a little Chinese girl playing the piano on The Ed Sullivan Show. The mother criticizes the performance and sees an opportunity for her daughter.
She soon arranges piano lessons for Jing-mei, as well as a piano to practice on daily in exchange for her housecleaning services. Mr. Chong is a retired piano teacher living in their apartment building. He looks ancient to Jing-mei. She doesn’t want to play the piano.
C- “The Girls in Their Summer Dresses” by Irwin Shaw
These stories are on the Modules page in the same Module as these directions.
Write an essay that analyzes the story on each of the following. You must discuss all of these elements in your paper.
Conflict and struggle—What are the conflicts in the story? In the stories we have read, characters struggle against something—rules, an antagonist, a spouse, relatives, social attitudes, their own beliefs, authority figures, inflexible social systems, and/or natural forces. What conflicts do the characters face? Tell about and analyze the nature of the conflicts the characters face.
The outcome—How do the characters manage and overcome their conflicts? What is the resolution or outcome of the conflicts? Do the characters learn any new lessons or gain new knowledge? Is the outcome of the story positive or negative? Why do you think so?